Liberals line up Lyons
Party sources say ex-mayor could take on Couzens
A STATE politics bid beckons for former Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons, local Liberal Party insiders claim.
A Liberal Party source claims the party’s local branch is courting Mr Lyons to run for the seat of Geelong at the 2018 state election.
The branch had been buoyed by what it considered a very Liberal-friendly Geelong election result and the reelection of four sacked councillors, which suggested Mr Lyons would still be a popular candidate, the source said.
He was being sought by the branch for his considerable “political capital”, and had recently talked up his chances of being elected, the source said.
Mr Lyons yesterday declined to comment on whether he had been approached by the Liberal Party.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the decision to pick candidates would be left in the hands of Liberal Party branches.
“Decisions to appoint Liberal Party candidates are made by our local branches and party members and aren’t done by captain’s pick,” Mr Guy said yesterday.
Earlier this year he refused to comment on Mr Lyons’s possible candidacy.
“Darryn is a friend of mine, I’m not interested in being a part of unsubstantiated speculation about his future,” Mr Guy said.
It is not the first time Mr Lyons has been linked to a possible run for state election, with the colourful former mayor hinting at a return to politics as recently as July.
“There’s still a passion burning in me of representation in some shape or form,” he told the Geelong Advertiser in July.
“I don’t know what shape or form, whether it be federal, state or local government, or community based. I’m not ruling out anything at all.”
Geelong state Labor MP Christine Couzens said “bring it on” when asked her thoughts on a potential election tilt by Mr Lyons.