Lib­er­als line up Lyons

Party sources say ex-mayor could take on Couzens

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - HAR­RI­SON TIPPET

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.

Dar­ryn Lyons

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