SIX members of The Nationals have put their hats in the ring for pre-selection for the seat of Lyne against incumbent Rob Oakeshott in the next federal election.
Port Macquarie News has already revealed previous contender Dr David Gillespie, former councillor and business owner Jamie Harrison, Army officer Captain Brett Sprague and Port Macquarie Panthers general manager Russell Cooper had signed on for the race.
Newcomers are 26-year-old IT systems engineer Aaron Mendham and Reg Pierce owner of Paladin Panels Wauchope.
Lyne Electorate Council chairman Theo Hazelgrove said it is “an incredible cross section of people who can represent the seat of Lyne”.
“We are very pleased with the passion of these people who all want to do something for the people of Lyne,” Mr Hazelgrove said.
Mr Pierce, who was going to run in the council elections and for the role of mayor, was surprised by his acceptance for preselection.
He said he hadn’t been a member of The Nationals for the full 12 months but the party was prepared to waive that condition.
“I was going for mayor but when I was approached by The Nationals again [to run for preselection for Lyne] I said what the heck, I’ll do it,” the 70-year-old said.
Although Mr Pierce said he would have liked to have stood as mayor, he doesn’t think it is fair to the electorate to stay in the race for the council elections.
Mr Mendham who works for Integer IT Support in Port Macquarie has a diploma in IT from Baulkham Hills TAFE and is completing further studies in business law, majoring in constitutional law.
He and his fiancee Loryn Topolski have only lived in Port since January but have holidayed here often.
“Whilst I haven’t lived here for long ... I would like to help and support the community and can’t see a better way to help than by being a member of parliament,” Mr Mendham, who stood as an independent for the seat of Castle Hill in last year’s state election, said.