Snowy Valleys councillor Julia Ham has just emerged victorious as the Liberal Party’s candidate for the upcoming Wagga byelection.
Three other hopefuls entered the race – Snowy Valleys deputy mayor and paramedic John Larter, former electorate staffer Sarah Lawrance, and Australian Army officer Stephanie Roe.
However, The Daily Advertiser understands Ms Ham won in the first round of balloting during the Saturday afternoon preselections.
A Merino sheep farmer, businesswoman, early childhood educator, and mother-of-three, Ms Ham said she well and truly understands the challenges facing regional families.
“A life in Wagga is a recipe for the good life, and I will be asking the community to support me in making it even better,” Ms Ham said.
Born and raised in Brucedale, Ms Ham was first elected as a councillor in September last year, and was known as a long-serving member of her local Rural Fire Service prior to that.
She also serves on the advisory board for the Parish Preschool Committee in Wagga and the Creative Arts Advisory Board Committee for the Board of Studies NSW.
She said delivering sound services and infrastructure to the electorate would sit atop her agenda should she be successful at the upcoming byelection.
“I’m looking forward to campaigning across the Wagga Wagga electorate about issues that matter to our community, and urging the people of Wagga Wagga to let me be their strong, local voice in Gladys Berejiklian’s team,” she said.
After her candidacy was signed off on by party officials on Saturday evening, Ms Ham became the party’s first new representative in Wagga since Daryl Maguire took over from Joe Schipp in 1999.
Ms Ham is the third candidate to be announced for the upcoming byelection, with Daniel Hayes running for Labor and Wagga councillor Paul Funnell running as an independent.
The Greens and the Shooters are each expected to announce a candidate in the coming days as well.
Voters will go to the polls in just a few short weeks on September 8.
MORE TO COME.