BALLARAT businessman Craig Coltman has won a preselection vote by local Liberal Party members to represent the party in the state seat of Wendouree.
Mr Coltman was last night chosen to represent the party over City of Ballarat councillor Samantha McIntosh.
The decision is not final, with endorsement of the vote still required by Liberal Victoria headquarters, however it is expected there will be no issue in confirming the preselection.
Coltman will take on Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight in the newly renamed seat of Wendouree at the upcoming November state election.
According to ABC election analyst Antony Green, the seat is notionally Liberal with a margin of just 0.1 per cent separating the two parties after redrawn electoral boundaries removed Sebastopol from the seat.
If endorsed, Coltman will join Ben Taylor who was recently nominated as the Liberal candidate for the new seat of Buninyong.
It is expected Ballarat will be a battleground come the November election, as both seats are marginal and will have been identified by the state government and opposition as winnable.
Mr Coltman last stood in the seat of Ballarat West at the 2010 state election, losing to Ms Knight but narrowing the margin to just over one per cent.
He recently said that Ballarat need a “really strong voice” in Spring Street and was taking nothing for granted with the seat’s notionally Liberal status.