Libs line up for Dunkley minus Zographos

first_imgWith nominations open for the Victorian seat of Dunkley, to be vacated by former Liberal minister Bruce Billson at the next election, City of Monash councillor Theo Zographos, who initially considered running for the Liberal Party, has pulled out.Speaking to Neos Kosmos Mr Zographos said that due to family commitments he had withdrawn from the contest.“I was very grateful for the many words of encouragement that I received, however, on this occasion I wasn’t in a position where I could pursue it,” he said.“As a councillor I remain fully committed to serving the people of Oakleigh and the Monash community.”Zographos added that his priorities at City of Monash included ensuring the council’s $31 million capital works program was on track to deliver benefits for the local community, and push forward with construction of a 195-place multi-level car park in Oakleigh.He leaves the hotly-contested battle for Dunkley to a field which includes former Kingston mayor Paul Peulich, local party figure Peter Angelico, Nathan Hersey, a member of Bruce Billson’s staff, and former Carrum MP Donna Bauer​, who is the frontrunner.Others contenders include Matt Berry, a former staffer to Frankston MP Geoff Shaw, and Chris Crewther​, the unsuccessful 2013 candidate for the rural seat of Mallee.Dunkley is currently held by the Liberals with a margin of 5.6 per cent. A major proportion of that margin is believed to be attributable to Mr Billson’s strong personal following. Preselection will be finalised later this month.The ALP’s Dunkley candidate is a former criminal defence lawyer and legal aid public advocate, Peta Murphy.Meanwhile another Greek Australian preselection candidate has missed out in Victoria after running for the ALP in the seat of Wills.Moreland City councillor Lambros Tapinos lost in the local ballot to Peter Khalil, a former adviser to Kevin Rudd. Mr Khalil was expected to take the seat ahead of former Senator Mehmet Tillem, and adviser to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Anna-Maria Arabia. Mr Khalil’s victory has seen local Labor members angry at what is seen as a deal between factional heavies to secure Mr Khalil the seat. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img