Labor rookie emerges as its Capricornia frontrunner
LEISA Neaton has emerged as the Labor Party frontrunner for the seat of Capricornia.
A Labor source told The Morning Bulletin yesterday that Ms Neaton, 45, had won the key support of the left faction of the union heavy Electoral College.
The Bulletin top headlines
But the Yeppoon mother, who lives in the Keppel electorate, said yesterday that although she had received positive feedback, she wasn't taking anything for granted.
"The race isn't over yet," Mrs Neaton said a week after The Morning Bulletin revealed she had nominated for preselection.
"We've got to do some internal work in the Labor Party to get that preselection nod and I need to talk with some more people to find out if I have their support.
"I'm not taking anything for granted and there's still a long way to go until that preselection process is complete."
The well-respected Frenchville State School principal faces strong competition in the lead-up to the preselection with challenges from Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow and 2013 candidate Peter Freeleagus, from Moranbah.
But as shown in the 2013 preselection, the candidate for Capricornia selection decision can be determined by the union heavy Electoral College vote.
In 2013, Mr Freeleagus was endorsed by the Electoral College even though Paul Hoolihan had won the local vote in Capricornia branches.
Cr Strelow told The Morning Bulletin yesterday that her fight to stand for the seat of Capricornia was not lost.
"The battle to decide who will represent Capricornia for the Labor Party at the next election is a long way from over," Cr Strelow said.
"I'm not a member of any faction and I know that will make it hard but I believe that I am the best person for the job. I will be asking members of the Labor Party in Capricornia to support me when the ballot takes place later this month."
Mr Freeleagus said it was going to be another tough gig.
"If I get the nod from the members that's great, but if I don't I'll work with the selected candidate. I would just really like to see the seat return back to the ALP," Mr Freeleagus said yesterday.
"The more people that put their name forward always makes the competition more difficult but that's what preselection is all about and everyone is entitled to put their name forward."