THE Liberal Party is expected to announce its candidate for the seat of Nepean, held by Labor’s Chris Brayne, in late February.
Nominations to be the Liberal candidate closed on Monday (31 January) and the Nepean State Electorate Conference is holding a $45 a head “meet the candidates” function at Safety Beach Sailing Club on Wednesday 9 February.
The night is billed as “an important event to attend, to meet the contenders who will be responsible for the Mornington Peninsula”.
Elsewhere on the peninsula, Briony Hutton (Liberal) and Paul Mercurio (Labor) will be contesting the seat of Hastings now held by Liberal Neale Burgess, while Chris Crewther (Liberal) and David Kramer (Labor) are standing for the seat of Mornington held by Liberal David Morris.
Cr Mercurio is the second current Mornington Peninsula Shire councillor to nominate for a seat in parliament.
Cr Despi O’Connor has stood aside from her council duties to contest the federal seat of Flinders as an independent after missing out on being chosen as candidate for the Voices of Mornington Peninsula group.
The number of councillors seeking to be an MP would have been higher if Cr Steve Holland had succeeded in his bid last October to gain party support to fill the Liberal Party vacancy in Eastern Province created by the resignation of Edward O’Donohue.
Councillors seeking election to either state or federal parliament do not have to stand down until after their nominations are lodged with the electoral office (“Council rules for aspiring MPs” The News 20/12/21).
The rules mean that unless Cr Mercurio chooses to follow Cr O’Connor’s example and take leave of absence, he can remain as an active councillor until his nomination is lodged with the Victorian Electoral Commission. The state election is due in November.