COLAC businessman Richard Riordan achieved a decisive victory at the Liberal Party’s Polwarth pre-selection convention on Saturday.
The 43-year-old defeated three other nominees on the first ballot to clinch the coveted role, vacated by retiring Polwarth MP Terry Mulder.
More than 130 local party members and randomly-selected delegates took part in the preselection at the Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre.
Geelong’s Jennifer Cromarty, South Purrumbete’s Adam Jenkins and Lorne’s Stephen Hishon also participated in the pre-selection ballot.
Mr Riordan said he was honoured to be selected as the Liberal Party’s candidate ahead of the October 31 by-election.
“I’m a very passionate local Polwarth person and look forward to representing our area the best way I can,” he said.
“It was a great honour to win convincingly. It means I’ve got the support of the Liberal Party supporters here in Polwarth and I hope to do them proud.
“It’s something I’ve looked towards doing for a long time - Terry’s resignation provided the opportunity.”
State Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said Mr Riordan’s local credentials were exemplary.
“He’ll be a local champion,” Mr Guy said, “not just for Colac where his family is from, but for Bannockburn, for the Surf Coast, down to Lorne - for all of this electorate.”
Polwarth is held by the Liberal Party on a safe margin of 10.6 per cent as of the 2014 state election. The electorate – which covers the Terang, Camperdown, Colac and Surf Coast regions – has been held by the Liberal Party for more than six decades.