It appears Camden’s newly anointed mayor Peter Sidgreaves is a highly ambitious man who plans to be Camden’s next state member.
Mr Sidgreaves has blinded-sided other would-be Liberal Party hopefuls, pulling off a piece of political subterfuge that virtually guarantees his own candidacy success and thus election into the safe Liberal seat, held by a margin of almost 30 per cent.
Months ago when the Liberal Party opened up preselections for impending state and federal elections, incumbent Camden MP Chris Patterson told those who asked that he planned to stay on.
This morning a Sydney Morning Herald political columnist wrote that Mr Patterson’s assurances about staying on meant no-one nominated to challenge him …. well no-one except his good mate Mr Sidgreaves.
And, as it now turns out, when Mr Patterson unexpectedly announced in September that he would not re-contest the seat at the next state election in March 2019, preselection nominations had closed … making Mr Sidgreaves the only nominee and thus the automatic candidate. What a move!
The Herald story states unless the mayor withdraws his nomination and opens up the field to a new preselection, he will be the next Camden MP.
It also stated the party’s executive committee would be unable to do anything to open up the race.
New rules introduced as part of the push for more democracy in the party prevent it.
Mr Sidgreaves confirmed to the Advertiser this afternoon that he had nominated as a candidate for the state election and did not intend to withdraw his nomination.
“Preselections have closed and I don’t know who else has nominated,” he said.
“We will know more in a month’s time when the candidate is selected by headquarters.”
Camden MP Chris Patterson confirmed he would be vacating his seat as planned at the next election.
He said he did not know if Mr Sidgreaves was the only eligible nominee for the position.
“Anyone who is eligible for a seat within the party can nominate during the nomination period,” he said.
“Today’s article in the Herald sounds like pretty poor journalism pushing a sour grapes agenda.”