NATIONAL Party stalwart and Tamworth Regional Council deputy mayor Russell Webb is considering throwing his hat in the ring to contest his party pre-selection for the seat of New England.
He told The Leader yesterday he was considering his options and wasn’t saying no to the possibility.
Mr Webb said Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce was the only real name he had heard come up in discussions about possible candidates.
“I would support him if he ran,” he said.
When asked if he had spoken to the National Party about potentially running as a candidate, Mr Webb said he had “spoken to the party recently”.
“There seems to be a lot of people saying that the candidate needs to be a local,” Mr Webb said.
“For that reason I am considering it as an option.”
Mr Webb said regardless of whether he decided to run,
whoever the candidate was they “needed to be a worker”.
He said he believed if the right candidate was chosen that The Nationals could topple sitting independent Tony Windsor.
“Based on the fact we have had such a poor federal government for so long,” he said.
Mr Webb said he had no doubt if Richard Torbay had not been disendorsed he’d have taken out the seat.
“I think the community needs to think about the fact that following the next election the Coalition is likely to be in government and the fact it would be better to have a New England representative in that mix than sitting on the outside of it,” he said.
“At this stage, my only real interest is to get someone who can represent the New England region in a good way, knowing things will be tough.”
Fellow Tamworth councillor Tim Coates ran as The Nationals New England candidate in 2010 clawing back a small margin on Mr Windsor who holds the seat with a huge majority.
Yesterday he indicated to The Leader he was “very happy” in local government.
When asked if he would consider nominating again, Mr Coates said he hadn’t communicated with anyone from The Nationals recently and as a result didn’t believe he had anything to consider or decisions to make.