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Julian Leeser Wins Liberal Preselection For Berowra; Succeeds Philip Ruddock

Julian Leeser has won Liberal Party preselection for Berowra and will succeed the long-serving Philip Ruddock at this year’s election.

LeeserLeeser easily won the contest against three other candidates, winning the votes of 97 of the 114 preselectors. Robert Armitage won 10 votes, John Bathgate 4 and Nick McGowan 3.

Leeser is currently Director of Government Policy and Strategy at the Australian Catholic University, a position he took up in 2012. Prior to that, he was Executive Director of the Menzies Research Centre (2006-12). He worked as an advisor to Philip Ruddock when he was Attorney-General in the Howard government (2004-06). He also worked as an advisor to Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott in 2001, before spending two years as a solicitor with Mallesons Stephen Jaques (2002-04). He was an Associate to High Court Justice Ian Callinan in 2000.

Leeser was a Councillor with the Woollahra Municipal Council (1995-99). He came to public notice during the 1999 Republic referendum when he was a member of the Prime Minister’s “No Case” committee.

Berowra is a safe Liberal seat in outer metropolitan Sydney. It includes suburbs such as Pennant Hills, Westleigh, Annangrove, Arcadia, Berowra, Galston and Hornsby. It has never been held by the ALP since it was created in 1969. It has had just three members since then, the first of whom was Tom Hughes, Prime Minister Turnbull’s father-in-law. Ruddock has held the seat since 1993, having previously represented Parramatta (1973-77) and Dundas (1977-93). Ruddock retires, after 43 years, as the second longest-serving member of either house of parliament since 1901.

At the 2013 federal election, Ruddock polled 61.44% of the primary vote in Berowra and 69.07% of the two-party-preferred vote. The ALP secured just 18.93% of the primary vote and the Greens 10.02%.

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