Nationals back hopefuls for state election

TWO more sitting Nationals members have begun taking the next steps in their political march to contest the 2015 state election in regional electorates.

Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson has been unanimously endorsed by the Tamworth Nationals branch as a candidate for next year’s state election.

At a Tamworth branch meeting on Wednesday night, the sitting member was given the nod by the party’s rank and file, which he described as “a great honour”.

Mr Anderson must wait until the February 28 Nationals nomination deadline to learn whether he will be challenged for pre-selection from within the party.

“It’s been a great three years and we’ve achieved a lot for the area in that time,” Mr Anderson said.

“But there remains a lot more that I’d like to get done, and that’s why I am putting myself forward to contest next year’s election.”

The Tamworth branch is the largest of several within the electorate.

Meanwhile, Adam Marshall has been pre-selected as the Nationals candidate to stand in Northern Tablelands at the next state election.

The sitting Northern Tablelands MP was endorsed last week by the electorate council and was the only nominee from the party.

Mr Marshall was elected in a landslide by-election in May last year, returning the seat to the Nationals for the first time in 14 years.

The by-election was caused when the then-sitting independent Richard Torbay jumped ship to become a Nationals candidate set on contesting the federal seat of New England, but spectacularly sank from political and community circles when he was later referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Mr Marshall had won party pre-selection from two other hopefuls to contest the seat for the Nationals, and took 63 per cent of the primary vote.

Barwon Nationals will decide their candidate for an expanded electorate on March 22, but sitting MP Kevin Humphries indicated this week he would be a candidate for his old electorate.

Barwon has been boosted in size under electoral boundary changes and will become the largest electorate in NSW at the next poll.

The next state election is due in March 2015.

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