Ben Franklin.
Ben Franklin. Graham Broadhead

Will he or won't he? The political future of Ben Franklin

BEN Franklin, who has become well known as the politician with pockets full of cash, has again ruled out running for the seat of Ballina in next year's State election.

Mr Franklin is a sitting Nationals member of the upper house, and is the Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW.

It's in the latter role that he has been a welcome guest throughout the Ballina electorate as he generally comes with a big cheque or at least an announcement of funding.

In the past six months or so, his media team have been busy sending out alerts - often two or three times a week - announcing where and who he will be handing over the dough to.

Some in the community have accused him of "pork-barrelling" with the expectation that he would announce his intentions to go up against sitting Ballina member, Tamara Smith from the Greens.

But he has said the NSW economy was in great shape, and so he was simply sharing the good fortunes of the NSW Government with the community.

While today inspecting the plans for the renovations under way at the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport terminal, he again said he was "unlikely" to run for the lower house.

It's a line he has repeated over the past six months.

However, he said he was being encouraged to run for the lower house by members of the local Nationals' branch, other members of the community and even the NSW Premier has given him a friendly nudge.

Mr Franklin has lived in Byron Bay for about three years, but recently moved into Ballina.

If he does decide to stand for the lower house seat of Ballina, it will not be a big surprise.



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