The Liberal Party has preselected lawyer Kevin Finn to contest the seat of Bendigo West.
Mr Finn, 37, grew up in Western Victoria and has lived in Bendigo for the past 12 years.
His campaign will focus on public transport, law and order, decentralisation and the cost of living.
Despite the state election being just over six weeks away and Labor MP Maree Edwards holding the seat by a margin of 12 per cent, Mr Finn believes he has a good opportunity.
“I’ve got a good chance. I feel Matthew Guy's vision for Victoria will resonate with the people of Bendigo,” he said.
Currently working for a Melbourne-based law firm, Mr Finn had stints with Beck Legal, State Trustees and Sandhurst Trustees Limited in Bendigo.
Victorian Liberal Party state director Nick Demiris said Mr Finn, who commutes to Melbourne for work, understood the benefits of the proposed regional fast rail project promised last week by the Coalition.
“Kevin understands the need to get back in control of population growth by easing the pressure on Melbourne and turbo-charging Bendigo,” he said.
The Coalition recently unveiled an ambitious proposal to cut a train trip from Bendigo to Melbourne to 70 minutes within 10 years as part of an pledge to build a $19 billion high-speed regional rail link if it wins November’s state election.
The Liberal Party had extended its preselection deadline for the seat of Bendigo West after struggling to find an appropriate candidate.
Meanwhile, Liberal leader Matthew Guy spruiked Bendigo’s potential as a regional financial hub as part of a decentralisation pitch in Melbourne this week.
Mr Guy, in promising to appoint a minister for decentralisation for the first time in 38 years if he becomes Premier, said the minister will provide the missing link for decentralising Victoria.
“(The minister will have) the determination to make each region have core strategies to develop the local economy and jobs. Bendigo as Australia's first regional financial capital, Ballarat as the transport hub of Victoria - we'll bring VicRoads and maybe V/Line into that city, Wodonga as a centre for driver education and training, Portland as a centre for renewables, Warrnambool as a centre for food processing and so forth,” he said.
Mr Guy also promised to review Victoria's tax system in a bid to encourage more people to move to the country if the Coalition is elected.
Taxes on property, land and business would be assessed and possible tax incentives introduced to encourage decentralisation, he said. Laurie Whelan will represent the Greens while lawyer Marilyn Nuske will represent the Animal Justice Party in the seat of Bendigo West.
The state election is on November 24.