THE Liberal Party will have a male candidate contesting a federal election in Indi for the first time since 1998 following the scratching of the only female preselection contender, Sheridan Leonard.
The pair were considered for dispensation from this requirement by the party’s administrative committee, but it wasn’t granted.
It leaves the preselection a race in three between Wodonga-based engineer Steve Martin, farmer and commodity trader Stephen Brooks and anaesthetist Andrew Walpole.
Mr Walpole, 62, went up against Sophie Mirabella and Kevin Ekendahl at the most recent Indi Liberal preselection held in the lead-up to the 2016 election at which independent Cathy McGowan retained the seat following her initial victory over Mrs Mirabella in 2013.
Mrs Mirabella became the Indi Liberal candidate in the lead-up to the 2001 election following the retirement of Lou Lieberman.
Mr Lieberman replaced Ewen Cameron as the Liberal Indi MP in the lead-up to the 1993 election.
Mr Cameron handed the Liberals the seat of Indi from the Country Party’s long-running MP Mac Holten in 1977.
The withdrawal of Mr Perry and Ms Leonard was only confirmed at the weekend following an administrative committee late last week.
Indi Liberals chairman Tony Schneider has elected not to endorse any of the remaining candidates this weekend after publicly backing Mrs Mirabella three years ago.
Mr Martin and Mr Brooks are both aged in their 30s.
Meanwhile, Labor has confirmed former Wodonga councillor Eric Kerr will be its candidate in Indi and Ms McGowan has officially started succession planning for a potential replacement.
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