MP's son might stand for Nats

STUART George, the Richmond Valley councillor and son of popular Lismore MP Thomas George, is considering standing for Nationals preselection for Page in next year's Federal election.

The Nationals called for preselection candidates a little over a week ago, and as none have so far publicly outed themselves as potential candidates, Mr George yesterday confirmed rumours he was considering the move.

“I have been approached and I am thinking about it,” Mr George said.

Mr George said he had not yet spoken to his father, who has been a member of State Parliament for the Nationals since 1999 and enjoyed a vote of up to 80 per cent in parts of his seat at the last election, about a run at Federal politics.

Nationals spokesman and the man who ran the party's 2007 campaign in Page, Murray Lees, agreed securing Stuart George as a candidate for the 2010 election would be a coup for the party.

“He'd be a completely outstanding candidate,” Mr Lees said. “He'd definitely give (Page Labor MP Janelle) Saffin a run for her money. It's not news she'd like to hear.”

Candidates from the Nationals' 2007 preselection, Kyogle Councillor Ernie Bennett, Ballina Councillor Sharon Cadwallader and high profile doctor Sue Page have all ruled themselves out of contention.

The eventual Nationals candidate from the 2007 campaign, Chris Gulaptis, has moved to Queensland.

Another 2007 preselection candidate, now a Lismore City councillor, Neil Marks, said yesterday he had not given 'any serious thought' to standing again for preselection.

However, he also declined to rule out another run at Federal politics, saying 'you never say no'.



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