JUSTIN Clancy has officially been handed the reins to retain the Liberal stronghold of Albury at next year’s NSW election.
The 40-year-old father of three was unveiled as the successor for Greg Aplin on Tuesday after beating two other contenders in a preselection process which started on Saturday and ended with a call from head office that he was the successful candidate late on Monday.
But Mr Clancy, a veterinarian, first grade hooker and president of the Steamers rugby union club, Rotarian and Sacred Heart Catholic parish council president, said his decision to enter politics had been shaped as a “son of the land” with his parents, Terence and Annette, farmers in the southern Riverina before retirement.
“This is something that is part of who I am,” Mr Clancy said.
“I’ve been heavily involved in community my whole life.
“I don’t think these decisions happen overnight.
“I’ve always believed politicians need to be people who have experience in life and in community.”
He also revealed his late uncle Brian’s long involvement in civic and community service as a Lockhart Shire councillor and prominent figure in keeping the Pleasant Hills pub open and establishment of the Henty community bank had also contributed to him seeking a political career.
The Border Mail understand he was a clear cut choice among preselection selectors including local branch members.
Mr Clancy said the community was better for Mr Aplin’s time as the local member since 2003.
“Greg leaves a wonderful legacy, there is a great pipeline of projects and we need to see those to completion,” he said.
“The community is calling for genuine people who have empathy for their community, but I also appreciate there will be the natural rough and tumble that comes with politics.”
Mr Aplin said Mr Clancy’s “history of involvement in this community” had helped him secure preselection.
“He is a most efficient, capable and young man and I look forward to him taking my place after the election,” he said.
Even though Albury is a very safe Liberal seat, Mr Clancy said he was taking nothing for granted due to the recent result in the Wagga byelection where independent, Dr Joe McGirr, was successful.
“Certainly the circumstances were different in Wagga and certainly there was a protest vote, but I understand the reasons behind that,” he said.
He joins the Greens candidate Dean Moss in the election race with Labor still to reveal its candidate.
Mr Aplin confirmed he was scheduled to make his valedictory speech in the NSW parliament on November 14.
Liberal Farrer MP Sussan Ley was among the well-wishers at the announcement of Mr Clancy’s official endorsement held at Cafe Borellas.
“Justin has taken a risk like everyone in politics,” she said.
“Stepping away from a thriving small business to enter the uncertain world of any state politics is an action to be highly commended.
“Which is why the sort of person Justin is, is the sort of person we need in politics.”
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