FIVE months out from the federal election and the Australian Labor Party is still looking for a local contender for the seat of Indi.
It follows the shock revelation that both pre-selection hopefuls are now out of the race.
Wangaratta businessman George Dimopoulos, and former ALP state MP Denise Allen of Seymour, had both nominated for party pre-selection to contest the seat against Liberal incumdent Sophie Mirabella (MHR, Indi).
But Zuvele Leschen, secretary of Labor’s federal electoral assembly, confirmed on Saturday that Mr Dimopoulos had withdrawn, and ALP headquarters had knocked back Ms Allen’s pre-selection bid, on a technicality.
Ms Allen, who had run for another party against Labor some years ago, has said she and other party members are disappointed.
And Mrs Leschen conceded it was “disappointing” there was no candidate on the ground yet.
“Certainly we had hoped that would be the case, but our members are still very enthusiastic and will support our candidate,” she said.
Mrs Leschen said she had spoken to several people about running, but the search is continuing.
Former Labor candidate Lauren McCully of Wangaratta said yesterday she would not be commenting on whether she would seek preselection as a it was a “matter for the party”.
Speaking to the Wangaratta Chronicle on the weekend, Mr Dimopoulos said had to withdraw for personal and family reasons.
“I was 200 per cent committed, but changing family circumstances meant I had to withdraw last month,” he said, noting he still had aspirations to run in the future.
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