THE Labor Party is expected to shortly name a candidate to challenge Liberal member for Benambra in November’s Victorian election.
The Labor Party’s Wodonga branch secretary Eric Kerr said that a contender had been recently approved by his members.
“We’ve locally chosen who we want as our candidate, now we just need head office to give us the okay,” Mr Kerr said.
The past Wodonga councillor declined to say who the party’s preferred candidate was, other than confirming his gender and saying he had not contested an election for Labor.
“It will be a very different campaign,” Mr Kerr said.
He hopes that Labor’s contestant for Benambra will be announced by the end of the week.
The candidate will have two months less time than his predecessor from the 2014 state election to promote herself to the electorate which covers Wodonga, the Upper Murray, the Kiewa Valley and Indigo Shire.
Labor’s last Benambra contender Jennifer Podesta was chosen in early May 2014, more than six months before the election.
Mr Tilley won the two-party vote in that contest 59.67 per cent to Ms Podesta’s 40.33, in 2010 the margin in favour of the Liberal incumbent was 66.48 to 33.52.
Mr Tilley said it was poor form from Labor to delay naming a contender.
“It does seem late in the game for a candidate...in football parlance, it’s like starting the game in time-on in the fourth quarter,” he said.
“Labor may not be able to get its act together but a Matthew Guy-led Liberal Nationals government has already promised to spend $633 million to replace the trains on the North East – 96 engines and carriages that will be faster, more reliable and provide for a modern world with wi-fi.”
Benambra is one of three safe North East seats for the conservative parties without a Labor candidate.
Ovens Valley and Euroa, held by the Nationals, also have no ALP hopeful.
Former Labor candidate and ex-Wangaratta councillor Lauren McCully said there had been no preselection in Ovens Valley and a date for it was yet to be set.
Labor Party assistant state secretary Kosmos Samaras did not respond to The Border Mail’s inquiries.
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