There is not enough time to allow south-west Liberal Party branches a vote in the pre-selection process for a candidate to replace Upper House Western Victoria member Simon Ramsay, opposition leader Matthew Guy says.
Among those mooted to be in the running for Mr Ramsay’s spot are Corangamite Shire councillor Bev McArthur, the wife of former federal member for Corangamite, Stewart McArthur and a former state Liberal vice-president.
Mrs McArthur has so far declined to comment, saying the nominations were an internal Liberal Party matter.
Geelong councillor Stephanie Asher, who previously stood as an independent in the 2013 federal election against Corio MP Richard Marles, said she was strongly considering nominating.
The deadline for nominations is next Tuesday, August 7.
Speaking during a visit to Warrnambool this week, Mr Guy said the party’s administrative committee would meet in a few weeks’ time to choose Mr Ramsay’s replacement.
He said holding a standard pre-selection process would take about two months and involve a large number of branch members.
That exercise would take too many party resources away from the campaign for the November 24 state election.
“In a perfect world, we would have a normal pre-selection process, but we just do not have the time,” Mr Guy said.
“Our priority is to campaign.”
Mr Guy said branch and electoral college representatives would be involved in the interview process for nominees for pre-selection.
The number of local representatives on the pre-selection committee would be chosen according to a set percentage, he said.
Mr Guy said he was confident there would be enough local input into the pre-selection.
He said the same pre-selection process had been used to choose Joshua Morris prior to the 2014 election for the number two spot on the Coalition ticket for the Upper House Western Victoria seat.
Mr Morris, a former Ballarat mayor, was chosen to replace Liberal candidate Aaron Lane who withdrew a few months before the 2014 election over homophobic comments he had made on Twitter a few years before.
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