THE Albury Liberal preselection preferred candidate is awaiting formal endorsement from party chiefs.
The Border Mail understands veterinarian Justin Clancy has emerged from the three-way battle with Albury councillor Alice Glachan and Walla farmer Tobias Lehmann as the preferred candidate to contest the NSW election in March as the successor to Greg Aplin.
Mr Aplin said he couldn’t comment on his successor until the exhaustive preselection process was completed, but confirmed selectors had settled on a preferred candidate on Saturday.
It’s very rare the preferred candidate doesn’t attain formal endorsement from the party’s state executive.
Mr Aplin has been the member for Albury since 2003 when he replaced the late Ian Glachan.
Mr Clancy grew up at Urangeline East, located south of Osborne, and he and his wife Tabitha moved to Albury in the early 2000s to work at the Family Vet Centre.
He is a former player and long-serving president of the Albury-Wodonga Steamers rugby union club and is presently the North Albury Sacred Heart Catholic parish president.
Mr Clancy is also a past president of the Rotary Club of Albury-Hume with Mr Aplin also a Rotarian.
The Albury electorate is regarded as blue-ribbon Liberal territory with Mr Aplin capturing 57 per cent of the primary vote at the 2015 election ahead of Labor candidate Ross Jackson’s 31.7 per cent.
Wagga was also Liberal heartland, but fell to an independent, Joe McGirr, in September when Daryl Maguire was forced to step aside after admitting at a corruption inquiry he had sought payment for a property deal.
The Greens’ Dean Moss is the only other confirmed starter for the March election.
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