Russell Webb rules out running against Kevin Anderson for Nationals pre-selection

NO CHALLENGE: Russell Webb (right) quashes a rumour he was looking to take on Kevin Anderson for Nationals' pre-selection.
NO CHALLENGE: Russell Webb (right) quashes a rumour he was looking to take on Kevin Anderson for Nationals' pre-selection.

RUSSELL Webb has quashed a rumour he was shaping up to challenge Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson for Nationals pre-selection in the seat of Tamworth.

It means Mr Anderson could have a clear-run to Nationals pre-selection on September 29, with two-and-a-half weeks left for branches to nominate a candidate.

A long-term local councillor and chair of the Nationals New England electorate council, Cr Webb said he definitely wasn’t shaping to challenge the incumbent state MP.

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“No, I’m looking at a caravan parked out the back,” Cr Webb said when asked if he was looking to take-on Mr Anderson.

Cr Webb gave a strong indication he could be ready to wrap-up his local government stint at the end of this term.

He wouldn’t completely rule-out another tilt at council, but said he was “looking at other things”.

“We’ve built ourselves a reasonably labour intensive business in the last year or two,” he said. 

He said he wouldn’t nominate for mayor when the election rolls around at the end of September.

He was first elected to the former Parry Shire Council in 1991 and was voted-on to Tamworth Regional Council after the amalgamation in 2004.

Mr Anderson told The Leader he believed he had achieved a lot in his years as the Nats’ member for Tamworth but still had a long to-do list to work on as the state MP.

Nomination for the Nationals’ Tamworth candidacy closes on August 24.

The party’s candidate will be officially chosen at a pre-selection meeting in Werris Creek on Saturday, September 29.

A number of Nats’ candidates have already emerged in pre-selection battles for Barwon and Upper Hunter.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ Jeff Bacon is currently the only confirmed candidate for the Tamworth seat, although speculation is growing about potential Independent runners. The NSW election will be held on March 23.

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