Liberals choose candidates for Hills Council

EAST Ward councillor Larry Bolitho was the biggest casualty in the Liberal Party's preselection ballot for The Hills Council on Saturday.

The long-serving party veteran of 29 years was beaten to the No.1 spot by Cr Andrew Jefferies.

Number 2 on the ticket went to Alan Haselden of West Pennant Hills.

This ends a run of seven successful elections in No.1 spot for Cr Bolitho.

A Liberal Party source said Mr Bolitho is now considering running as an independent in a move which could seriously split the Liberal Party vote.

But Cr Bolitho said he hadn't made up his mind.

"I will be taking time for reflection before making my decision," he told the News.

"I'm not rushing into any rash decisions."

In West Ward, acting mayor Michelle Bryne edged out former mayor Mike Thomas for the No.1 spot on the ticket, 64 votes to 58.

Cr Thomas won a three-way battle for the No.2 slot in front of Army Reserves officer Frank Abraham and small-business owner Frank De Masi.

Yvonne Keane and Geoff Lowe were endorsed earlier this year with no contest for Central Ward.

Former mayor Peter Dimbrowksy, who resigned from the party last week, will run as an independent.

Cr Robyn Preston was the last councillor left standing in North Ward after former mayor Greg Burnett resigned after embezzlement allegations.

She was endorsed as the No.1 candidate alongside Dermot O'Sullivan who beat Hawkesbury MP Ray Williams's son Ryan 65-57 for the second spot.

The Liberal Party state executive is expected to officially endorse each Hills Council preselected candidate in the coming days.

A vote for The Hills Council's interim mayor will be held tonight.

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