Andrew Laming wins Bowman preselection

CELEBRATING: Andrew Laming with family and friends after he won the preselection vote for Bowman. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough
CELEBRATING: Andrew Laming with family and friends after he won the preselection vote for Bowman. Photo: Cheryl Goodenough

ANDREW Laming has won preselection for the LNP in the seat of Bowman.

Mr Laming said he was thrilled at the near-unanimous vote from more than 140 branch members.

Paul Branagan, who was put forward to take on Mr Laming, said after Thursday night’s vote that Mr Laming had been returned as the LNP candidate.

“I wish him all the best,” Mr Branagan said.

A fierce preselection battle has been under way for months.

Andrew Laming.

Andrew Laming.

An LNP spokesperson confirmed in May that Mr Laming had nominated for preselection.

The spokesperson said at the time the party would announce their candidate within a few weeks.

In June Mr Laming was lambasted in an email from three Bowman federal divisional council members for behaviour that they believed would make it difficult for him to be re-elected.

The three – Shaun Edwards, Paul Field and Suzi Foster – said they would support Paul Branagan in the preselection vote.

They said Mr Branagan was a great local candidate who would stand up for conservative values, would be a team player in Canberra, where he could fight for more investment in Bowman.

The three were suspended after the email was made public.

An LNP spokesman said at the time that party rules dictated that members could not talk about internal LNP matters.

Before the federal divisional council’s general meeting in June, Mr Branagan had been on the executive but said he had recused himself for about two months.

Mr Laming unsuccessfully challenged Con Sciacca for the seat of Bowman in the 2001 federal election. He won the seat after a redistribution in 2004.

In 2016, Mr Laming was elected for a fifth term, beating Labor’s Kim Richards, who went on to win the state seat of Redlands last year.

Despite his outstanding electoral success, Mr Laming has attracted negative attention for social media comments on the unemployed, teachers, and unionists, for using taxpayer funds for family travel, sculling a beer while doing a handstand on Australia Day, 2014, and pouring fuel on his hands in Parliament to protest pollution in 2015.