THE National Party is still angry that its Coalition partner is running a candidate in the new seat of Euroa in November’s state election.
The Liberal Party last week endorsed Tony Schneider for the seat in opposition to the Nationals candidate Stephanie Ryan.
Victorian Deputy Premier and Nationals leader Peter Ryan, who visited Seymour with both candidates yesterday, said he was not backing down on his opposition to the Liberals’ move.
“We did not want the Liberal Party to stand — I asked them not to stand,” Mr Ryan said.
He said even former premier Ted Baillieu had endorsed Ms Ryan — who was his media advisor when he was leader — for the seat.
“I’ve never been one to say one thing and mean another,” Mr Ryan said of his criticism of the Liberal Party.
“I think it’s important when one is asked these things to deal with them factually, and that’s what I’ve done.
“But the real concern in the broader picture is to win the election.”
Ms Ryan said while she was disappointed in the Liberals, she could not change the decision.
While the Coalition candidates would “bump into each other”, they would not campaign together.
“I think we have our own ideas about how we run our campaigns,” she said.
Mr Schneider said he had “nothing to say” about the issue.
“I’m running as a Liberal candidate and I’m really focusing on the seat of Euroa and running my own race,” he said.
“I’m going to leave those sorts of comments for other people to make.”
The third candidate in the new seat – Labor’s Clare Malcolm – did not return calls last night.
Mr Ryan yesterday visited Seymour and Kilmore after campaigning in the North East.