Nats have "no plans" to run in Bendigo

Damian Drum

Damian Drum

NATIONALS upper house MLC Damian Drum concedes there "may be some disappointment" from voters should the party choose to not run candidates in Bendigo East or Bendigo West at the November state election.

Nationals state director Jenny Hammett said the party was unlikely to field candidates in the Bendigo electorates in order to focus on the seats of retiring members.

She said Damian Drum and Federal Senator Bridget McKenzie could still adequately represent Bendigo without a lower house election bid.

"We're still four months out from the end of the campaign, but at this stage we have no plans to run in Bendigo," Ms Hammett said.

"It's really about where we put our resources.

"We're very focused on running strong candidates in our seats where there are retiring members."

The Nationals achieved a 15.4 per cent swing in Bendigo West at the 2010 election as candidate Steven Oliver won 21.7 per cent of the overall vote.

The result was in contrast to a -9.2 per cent swing against the Liberal candidate.

Damian Drum said there was "still a possibility" of running a candidate in Bendigo.

"For someone to stand for the seat and represent their party, they need to be a very high quality individual," he said.

"The Nationals will be well represented in Northern Victoria's other six lower house seats."

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