BATHURST businessman Sam Farraway has moved a step closer to becoming the next federal Member for Calare after winning a preselection nomination from the party's Bathurst branch.
Bathurst members met for their annual general meeting last night, just days after incumbent MP John Cobb announced he was retiring from federal politics.
Mr Farraway was returned as branch chairman before the meeting moved to general business, including discussion of a preselection nomination.
The Western Advocate understands Mr Farraway was not opposed when the matter went to a vote, though he did not win the unanimous support of all those in attendance.
Nationals members from across the Calare electorate will meet in Bathurst on April 30 to select their candidate to contest the federal election later this year.
Each of the five active branches across the electorate - Bathurst, Orange, Lithgow, Wellington and Mudgee - can nominate only one candidate for the preselection ballot, though a member can seek a nomination from the Nationals' head office if they are rejected by three local branches.
The Advocate understands mayor Gary Rush did not nominate for last night's vote.
The Western Advocate has approached Mr Farraway for comment.
The Bathurst branch is expected to release a statement on last night's vote later today.