Councillor Jo McNally will be in the running for the Southern Downs seat at the next state election.
Councillor Jo McNally will be in the running for the Southern Downs seat at the next state election. Sophie Lester

High-profile race for Springborg's seat

TWO councillors are among three prominent Liberal National Party contenders who will battle it out for the Southern Downs seat at the next Queensland election.

As predicted by the Warwick Daily News this month, Southern Downs Regional Council deputy mayor Joanne McNally from Warwick and Cr Cameron Gow from Stanthorpe have won preselection for the electorate.

James Lister, who was an aide-de-camp to the former Australian Governor General Quentin Bryce, has also been fielded in the LNP's local picks. Mr Lister is a squadron leader at the Royal Australian Airforce.

Their endorsement sets up a high-profile showdown for the long-held LNP seat, with One Nation and Labor yet to announce candidates for a poll tipped to be called within months.

The seat will be vacated by party veteran Lawrence Springborg who announced in December he will quit state parliament at the next election due before January 2018.

LNP state director Lincoln Folo said the successful candidate would be put through a scrupulous selection process, which includes a regional plebiscite believed to be 300 members.

"With Lawrence having served his community for 27 years, the next LNP candidate for Southern Downs has huge shoes to fill and the LNP is delighted with the strong field of applicants that are seeking preselection," Mr Folo said.

"The selection process is rigorous and the candidate will be chosen by eligible members of the Southern Downs party unit."

Mr Folo said candidates were unable to comment until the process is complete.

The party has not set a date for the candidate to be revealed.



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