Tim James has won Liberal preselection for former premier Gladys Berejiklian’s seat of Willoughby in north Sydney, in a surprise upset for the moderate faction of the party.
Mr James, who heads up the Menzies Research think tank, defeated Ms Berejiklian’s pick Gail Giles-Gidney, who has served as mayor of Willoughby Council.
He prevailed 58 votes to 52.
The result means Mr James will contest the seat of Willoughby, a safe Liberal seat, when a by-election is held in February.
Ms Berejiklian’s resignation last October in the lead up to her appearance at the Independent Commission Against Corruption triggered the by-election, which will be one of several this year.
By-elections will also be held in Andrew Constance’s former seat of Bega and John Barilaro’s former seat of Monaro.
Mr James said he will be a strong advocate for the Willoughby community and ensure local businesses get the support they need to recover from lockdowns.
“For almost two decades Willoughby has had an exceptional local representative in Gladys, and I will seek to continue her work,” he said.
“I will be particularly focused on ensuring that our roads and infrastructure are able to serve the needs of this community, and we help preserve and enhance our local public space.”
Mr James is a member of the party’s right faction and says he joined the Liberal Party at age 17 to help remove the Keating government.
He was a staffer for the Howard government for six years and has also been the CEO of Medicines Australia.
He was also chief of staff to planning minister Anthony Roberts and previously worked for KPMG, Allens Arthur Robinson, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
In 2018 Mr James lost preselection for the seat of North Sydney and then unsuccessfully challenged the successful candidate, Felicity Wilson, in court.
He argued the preselection process was invalid but a court dismissed the matter and ordered him to pay costs.
The seat of Willoughby has been held by the Liberal Party since 1981, with Ms Berejiklian holding it for 18 years.
Source: Thanks msn.com