INDEPENDENT candidate Jacqui Hawkins has scored the No.1 position on the ballot paper for Benambra in her first election.
Six contenders will be seeking election in the Wodonga-based seat at the November 24 Victorian poll.
Incumbent member Liberal Bill Tilley received third place on the voting form when the electronic draw was held at the returning office in the former ANZ bank branch in High Street, Wodonga, on Friday.
Others on the ballot will be Mark Tait (Labor, second), Jenny O’Connor (Independent, fourth), Josh Knight (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, fifth) and John Bardsley (Greens, sixth).
The latter two candidates were the only contenders who failed to attend the draw.
The only other time since 1950 that so many candidates have vied for Benambra was in 2006 when six hopefuls also faced off in an election that saw Mr Tilley chosen for the first time.
Ms Hawkins was pleased with drawing top spot which will allow her to capture the donkey vote.
“It’s a great result, normally 2 per cent of people number the sequence down so hopefully it’s a boost to the campaign, but in the end people will vote where they want,” she said.
Ms Hawkins will officially launch her campaign in Wodonga’s Willow Park from 4pm on Saturday with a range of speakers to address the gathering.
They include autism advocate Judy Brewer and auctioneer Des Lonergan who will seek bids on corflute campaign signs.
Mr Tilley was matter-of-fact about being midfield on the ballot paper.
“A draw is a draw and we will have how-to-vote cards and people will be able to work it out for themselves,” he said.
Mr Tilley also replied to a tweet by a Greens Melbourne city councillor Rohan Leppert this week.
Commenting on election preferences Cr Leppert described the members for Benambra and Ovens Valley (Tim McCurdy) as “boring old white men”.
The plot thickens. Libs holding off on nominating inner city candidates because they want Labor's preferences in Benambra (held on margin 9.7%) and Ovens Valley (16.6%). Shows just frightened they are of independent women winning coalition seats held by boring old white men.— Rohan Leppert (@RohanLeppert) November 7, 2018
“I don’t think I’m boring, I think plenty of people enjoy my company,” Mr Tilley said.
“It’s the toxic nature of social media and this is from a person that doesn’t actually know me.”
Prepoll voting will begin at 9am on Monday at the returning office.
Returning officer Trevor Deacon said Monday to Friday operating hours would be 8.30am to 6pm with a Saturday opening on November 17 and an 8pm close on November 22.
Unlike previous elections, prepoll votes will be counted on election night, rather than the days after polling day.
That should result in 75 per cent of the vote tallied on the evening of November 24.