Petersen, McLindon in LNP showdown

A SENIOR regional councillor has emerged as the likely LNP candidate for the Federal seat of Blair.

Dr Patricia Petersen had until this week been the front runner to be endorsed by the party.

But a meeting with head officials was postponed after newly independent MP Aidan McLindon abandoned the party because he was unhappy with its leadership.

Considering the debacle surrounding Mr McLindon, who held non-conservative ideas regarding policy, an admittedly left-wing Dr Petersen could miss out on an LNP endorsement.

It is understood the regional councillor lives in the Blair electorate and is now the favourite ahead of Dr Petersen.

The councillor is expected to be announced as an LNP pre-selection candidate next week.

Sitting MP Shayne Neumann is still the lone candidate for Blair.

Despite nearly every other electorate in the country being filled with an LNP candidate, the party has delayed naming who it wants to contest Blair pre-selection.

LNP chairman for the electorate, Sean Choat, said the names of the candidates would be announced soon.

“We are just waiting on a final nod from head office and then the pre-selection will begin,” Mr Choat said.

“If there is only one candidate, then the local branch members will still have to give their approval and okay the person.”

Dr Petersen said she was scheduled to again meet with party officials next week.

She could still end up representing the Greens at the federal election, which was tipped to be held in August or September.

“This is the most difficult decision I have had to make in my life,” Dr Petersen said. “I thought it was tough deciding whether or not to have children but this is a much more difficult decision.

“I watched the Aidan McLindon issue with interest and, while I am someone who has distinct views that may differ from the LNP, there is a difference between expressing your own personality and not being a team player.

“I have spoken with the Greens as well but I must weigh up all my options and I can’t do that until I speak to LNP head office.”

Dr Petersen twice fought elections against Liberal leader Tony Abbott.

In both the 2004 and 2007 elections, she stood as an independent in Tony Abbott’s New South Wales seat of Warringah but lost heavily.

She then wrote a play, A Cup of Tea, which centred on Mr Abbott and her battle against him.

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