LAST week, just days before the federal election was called on Sunday, the Liberal Democrats party (LDP) endorsed Matthew Bansemer for the seat of Bendigo.
The 44 year-old Guildford father said he hopes to provide an alternative for voters on both sides of politics who feel abandoned by the major parties.
"During COVID I believe we have gotten the balance between public health and the broader wellbeing of society wrong, with incredible damage done to individuals, small businesses and our community," Mr Bansemer said.
"I'd describe myself as a reluctant candidate.
"'Maybe I'm the underdog at this federal election, but it's important to me to give the people of the electorate of Bendigo a choice by offering real leadership."
Established in 2001, the Liberal Democrats have been outspoken critics of the Victorian state government and the federal governments' response to the COVID pandemic.
In 2017, current New South Wales One Nation leader Mark Latham left the opposition and had a short one-year stint in the LDP.
Last year, Victorian LDP members Tim Quilty and John Limbrick refused to comply with a vaccine mandate for MP's and Mr Limbrick publicly destroyed his vaccination status card.
The libertarian party holds a firm belief in individual freedoms, and also advocates for free market solutions to climate change and affordable energy.
Bendigo candidate Mr Bansemer is particularly focussed on decentralising education, which would allow schools to opt out of the national education curriculum and the abolishment of standardised testing such as NAPLAN.
In November last year, the LDP formed a preference deal with the United Australia Party (UAP), meaning each party would encourage members to choose the other as their second preference.
Mr Bansemer will face off against current member for Bendigo Labor MP Lisa Chesters, as well as UAP, Greens, One Nation and Liberal candidates.
The federal election will be held on May 21.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.