Liberals working through process to find state candidate

THE Liberals may have won the Federal election but they are lagging as a team in Gladstone, which is one of the last six state electorates that does not yet have a candidate.

The Gladstone electorate branch has more than 200 members, including those who are financial members and those who volunteer, which means there's plenty of potential local candidates.

LNP Gladstone/Calliope branch chairman Stephen Askew told The Observer yesterday the LNP was "here for Gladstone" and had definite plans for a strong local candidate.

The preselection process has already begun, with nominations for Gladstone received by the state branch on March 19.

While the Gladstone/Calliope branch is expecting an announcement soon, Mr Askew said they weren't worried because campaigning didn't start "heating up" until several months before the election.

"At the last state election we recognised Liz (Cunningham) was running again and would be hard to topple, so we supplied a candidate at the last minute," he said.

"But this time we're keen to have someone well known in Gladstone.

"We want to make a commitment that our candidate can deliver for the people of Gladstone and the state."

He added that it would be nice to have the winner in the same party that comes to power.

"We always just seem to be fighting to gain something," he said.

"People are doing it tough on the outskirts (of the electorate) and we can do some good things for agriculture."

Mr Askew said the state election would be hard to win for the LNP in Gladstone, whether or not Mrs Cunningham was running again.

Mr Askew said the LNP branch needed stability, drive and passion, and an influx of young members was welcome in town.

"You need to involve the younger people of Gladstone to have a voice," he said. "It's a great opportunity for them to get in and have a voice."

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