One in the ring for Liberals

ONLY one person has publicly put their hand up for state Liberal preselection in Bendigo.

Jack Lyons, son of Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons, hopes to compete against sitting Bendigo West member Maree Edwards.

He said he was not aware of any other party members interesting in running in the seat.

“I just believe Bendigo West needs some strong representation,” he said.

“I’m passionate about Bendigo West and the surrounding region.”

Mr Lyons, 41, was born in Lancefield and moved to Bendigo at age nine.

“I’m a carpenter by trade, I’ve managed a 1000 acre farm in Pyramid Hill, operated a childcare centre, owned and operated various hospitality venues around town and I’m now a project manager for an earthmoving company,” he said.

“I know a few people who are talking about running in Bendigo East, but no-one’s confirmed.”

Nominations for the party close at the end of the month.

The preselection process for both seats is likely to finish late March or early April, ahead of the November 29 election.

It’s believed several Liberal members are considering running in both seats, but none have publicly declared interest.

Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum said the Nationals were not in any rush to select candidates.

“Our priority is finding the best candidate for the people of Bendigo East and West, not within any timelines,” he said.

“We’re not worried when those candidates enter the field, we want to make sure we’ve got the best candidate.

“If we don’t think we can win we won’t stand candidates.”

Ms Edwards, who had a 7.64 swing against her party in the 2010 election, said she had a strong track record in Bendigo.

“I’ve been working extremely hard over the last three years,” she said.  

“I’ll continue to work until the election being the representative for Bendigo West.

“The achievements that I’ve had in the local community are on the record now.”  

Sitting Bendigo East member Jacinta Allan will again run.

Labor has held Bendigo West for all but one term since 1985, while Ms Allan has held her seat since 1999. 

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