THE Liberal Party will announce police officer and former Macedon Ranges Shire councillor Ian Ellis as the party’s candidate for Bendigo East.
The party will confirm Mr Ellis’ candidacy on Friday morning.
He is currently a Leading Senior Constable with Victoria Police working as an instructor based in Melbourne, and has previously served with Macedon Ranges Highway Patrol and the Major Collision Investigation Unit.
Mr Ellis moved back to Bendigo early last year, where in the past he has run a food manufacturing business and cafes. He has lived in Bendigo most of his life.
He will run against sitting Labor MP and public transport minister Jacinta Allan, who holds the seat on a margin of 5 per cent. She has held the seat since 1999.
Last year, the Liberal Party stated it had identified a “law and order” candidate to run in the seat.
Mr Ellis laid a wreath on behalf of Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell at Wednesday’s Anzac Day service in Bendigo, sparking rumours he was the party’s pick for a local seat.
Ian Ellis lays a wreath towards the end of Wednesday’s Anzac Day service:
He told the Bendigo Advertiser he would make further comment about his candidacy on Friday morning, but confirmed he was the Liberal Party’s choice for Bendigo East.
Mr Ellis was elected to the Macedon Ranges Shire Council in 2014 following a countback after the resignation of another councillor.
He lost his spot on the council at the 2016 election, when seven councillors lost their seats.
During his time on council, Mr Ellis focused on supporting an ageing community and addressing substance abuse with younger residents.
He also prioritised “keeping costs in check, such as rates and expenditure” and wanted the council to provide “best value for money”.
Bendigo East is considered a crucial seat if the Liberal Party are to form government at the November 24 poll.
The Liberal Party is yet to announce a candidate for Bendigo West.