Denis Napthine’s son wants dad’s Vic seat

The son of former Victorian premier Denis Napthine is hoping to follow in his father’s political footsteps.


Tom Napthine has nominated for pre-selection in the South-West Coast seat made vacant after his father’s retirement from politics on Monday.

The 24-year-old wasn’t even born when Dr Napthine first won the seat in 1988.

Dr Napthine confirmed his son would stand and told AAP he was proud of him.

During a press conference to announce his resignation on Monday Dr Napthine indicated his son might seek to fill his shoes.

“Tom was certainly a great help on the campaign and certainly I think he did extraordinary work,” he said on Monday.

“I’m a very proud dad.”

Mr Napthine joined his father, then premier, on the campaign trail in the lead up to the coalition’s November 2014 election loss, sparking rumours at the time that he might make a move into politics.

Liberal Party pre-selection rules prevent the father and son talking about Mr Napthine’s nomination before a pre-selection ballot.

The South-West Coast ballot will be held on September 20.

A ballot for the seat of Polwarth, vacated by retiring Liberal MP Terry Mulder, will be held on September 19.

State Liberal leader Matthew Guy says he won’t endorse any candidate before the day.

“I want branches to choose candidates from the Liberal party who are sensible, who are of their community and who will champion for those local seats,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.

While both Dr Napthine and Mr Mulder held their seats at the November election with a 10 per cent swing, Mr Guy says by-elections can be “funny things”.

Former Upper House member Donna Petrovich is also expected to seek pre-selection in the seat, alongside Warrnambool City Council mayor Michael Neoh, solicitor Ray Reekie and vet Michael McCluskey.

The Greens and Australian Country Party, formerly the Australian Country Alliance, are also expected to field candidates although Labor is not.

The Victorian Electoral Commission has not set a date for the by-elections.