FOUR potential replacements to Cathy McGowan are in the race to be the Voices for Indi endorsed candidate as early as this year’s federal election.
The future candidates forum will be held next Saturday in Benalla with the identity of the four contenders to remain under wraps until the day.
But Voices For Indi spokesperson Alana Johnson said some of the candidates had not been active Orange supporters to date, but have signed a values statement and “endorse the Indi way”.
More than 180 Voices for Indi supporters who live and work in the electorate have registered to be part of the succession planning to find Ms McGowan’s replacement.
“Voices For Indi is doing this on behalf of the orange supporters and Cathy’s only role in this is to attend because she wants to observe the process and be informed herself as to the rigor of the process and calibre of the applicants,” Ms Johnson said.
“The understanding the orange supporters have at this stage is that we are identifying the next independent candidate when the time comes that is required.
“That is then up to Cathy.
“It is all contingency planning because Cathy hasn’t made a declaration herself and no-one really knows when the election is going to be.”
The candidates have been made aware Ms McGowan will be in attendance.
“We consider they are worthy applicants. No one is a dud,” Ms Johnson said.
Registrations to participate in the forum at Benalla closed on Thursday with each candidate to start with a 20-minute presentation.
There will be no vote with the identification of a suitable candidate to be arrived at by consensus.
“It is an unknown process for a lot of people and it will be a very challenging process because they haven’t engaged in it before,” Ms Johnson said.
“There won’t be any media or academics attending to observe.”
An announcement will be made at the end of the forum on a suitable candidate.
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