Three days after the Nationals party candidate for Orange Yvette Quinn stepped down, three high-profile potential successors have taken themselves out of the running to appear on the ticket for the party at next year’s state election.
Former Nationals candidate Scott Barrett, Parkes mayor Ken Keith and Orange mayor Reg Kidd have all ruled out a tilt at toppling incumbent member for Orange Philip Donato in March’s poll.
I’ve had two phone calls from prospective candidates so far.Western NSW Parliamentary Secretary Rick Colless
Mr Barrett, who lost the 2016 byelection to Shooters, Fishers and Farmers member Mr Donato by just 50 votes, said he would not return to the political arena this time around.
The reason? He plans to focus on a new job he is starting as a NSW drought-relief coordinator.
Cr Keith, who lost the Nationals preselection to Parkes-based Ms Quinn in June also indicated he would not contest this election.
Cr Kidd was quick to quash any rumour suggesting he was considering putting his name forward.
“I’ve never ever expressed an interest, I’m not a [Nationals] member for a start,” Cr Kidd said.
“I’ve been asked over the years from both sides of politics [for federal and state elections].”
Tony Mileto, who was party’s Orange branch candidate for the previous preselection process but was ineligible to stand due to an error on his Orange City Council nomination form, could not be contacted because he was out of the country.
Attempts to contact Janelle Culverson and Duncan Brakell, who showed an interest in representing the party in the byelection, were unsuccessful.
Scott Munro, who also previously put his name forward to represent the Nationals, had since left the party.
Western NSW Parliamentary Secretary Rick Colless said there had been interest from party members in filling the vacancy but an Electoral Council meeting would have to be held before preselection dates could be set.
“I’ve had two phone calls from prospective candidates so far,” he said, but would not reveal who they were from.
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