Senator Bridget McKenzie has ruled out contesting the seat of Mallee in the upcoming federal election, but has not closed the door on a lower house campaign.
The federal sports minister, who will move her office from Bendigo to Wodonga this year, had been linked with the seat of Mallee, vacated by her colleague Andrew Broad, but a spokesperson from her office on Wednesday confirmed she would not nominate for preselection in the regional seat.
The deputy Nationals leader was still “giving due consideration” to running as a candidate for the seat of Indi, given her office will be located in that electorate.
Senator McKenzie last week told Fairfax Media she was “in no hurry” to move to the lower house.
“I’ve been elected to the Senate as you all know here locally for six years,” she said.
“That term is up in 2022 and I’m really relishing the role of delivering for regional Victoria and the nation more broadly.”
She said she remained “unimpressed” with events which led to Mr Broad standing down.
Mr Broad resigned following revelations he travelled to Hong Kong and dined with a younger woman he met online, charging taxpayers for the domestic leg of the trip.
“I made my statement very, very clear the day after those allegations were revealed,” she said.
“Andrew has made the right decision, he is retiring from politics and the Mallee will hopefully be served by another National Party MP come the federal election.”
Senator McKenzie has been the most high-profile candidate touted for Mallee, a move which would also make Ms McKenzie eligible for party leadership.
Senator McKenzie in October announced she would move her office from Bendigo to Wodonga in 2019, which fuelled speculation she would run as a candidate in the federal seat of Indi.
Maryborough was moved into the seat of Mallee by the Australian Electoral Commission in June.
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