Colin Clague's big decision

WHO will run for Labor at the upcoming Clarence by-election? Will the party run at all?

Neither of these questions could be answered yesterday by local branch members, but Lower Clarence ALP branch president Joy de Roos said "a number" of people had put up their hands for candidacy.

Asked whether previous ALP candidate Colin Clague would run again, Mrs de Roos said: "he has been discussing it".

"We are talking to the head office about running a candidate and waiting for them to get back to us," she said.

Mrs de Roos said though the ALP NSW head office had the power to choose a candidate without consulting the branch, she expected nominations would go to a branch preselection if there was more than one.

The Daily Examiner spoke to Mr Clague by phone last night but he declined to make any comment about his candidacy saying he was about to attend a Grafton ALP branch meeting.

Mr Clague suffered a 20 per cent swing against Labor in the March 2011 state election with 4683 votes or 10.2% of the electorate.

He had been a Labor candidate three times previously - for the federal seat of Cowper in 1975 and 1978 and for the state seat of Clarence in 1976.

In that election he received 9613 distributed votes and was defeated by Country Party incumbent Matt Singleton with 16,905.

He has been a member of the ALP for 42 years.



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