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Door opens for second mayor to run for LNP - Could John Brent be the next Local Government Minister

Mayor John Brent

An opportunity has opened up for a local government mayor to follow Campbell Newman's lead into state politics.
 
Scenic Rim mayor John Brent on Monday night signalled he was considering a switch to the state arena, after the Liberal National Party's preselected candidate for the seat of Beaudesert resigned.
 
It is understood Andrew Macarthur pulled out of the race on Monday, but LNP president Bruce McIver refused to comment and state director Michael O'Dwyer failed to return calls.
 
Mr Macarthur could not be reached for comment.
 
However, Beaudesert MP Aidan McLindon said he was aware of Mr Macarthur's departure.
 
"Numerous LNP members have contacted me over the last four hours – I would say half a dozen LNP members within the Beaudesert branches – giving me the heads up that this is what's occurred," Mr McLindon said.
 
Cr Brent, whose local electorate is Beaudesert, said he was surprised by the news.
 
He declined to say whether he would put up his hand for that seat, but again confirmed he was looking at his options.
 
"I'd rather not speculate," he told brisbanetimes.com.au.
 
"I have expressed before that I'm happy to look, I'm happy to represent my community at a local, state or federal level, and I'd be happy to look at any option."
 
Mr Newman and Cr Brent have worked closely together in the South East Queensland Council of Mayors, in which Cr Brent served as Mr Newman's deputy.
 
Interim Opposition Leader Jeff Seeney said two weeks ago Cr Brent would be a good candidate for the LNP.
 
Mr McLindon, who defected from the LNP last year to start the Queensland Party, said it would be challenging to hold onto the seat with Cr Brent as the LNP candidate.
 
"It'll be a fight for me [but] I've always been up for a challenge," he said.
 
Mr McIver referred queries over the matter to Mr O'Dwyer, who did not return five calls and a text from brisbanetimes.com.au seeking confirmation.
 
Two weeks ago, Mr Newman said other mayors were also considering a tilt at State Parliament.
 
"I know of one mayor who is putting up his hand I believe and there are other councillors across the state," Mr Newman said.
 
Cr Brent told brisbanetimes.com.au at the time a career in state politics had its appeal.
 
"I'd have to find a seat," he said.
 
"I've always had an interest in LNP politics, it's nothing new, and I've certainly had pressure applied for many years."
 
Meanwhile, the LNP candidate who stood aside so Mr Newman could run for Ashgrove will run for a different seat.
 
It is understood Aaron Dillaway, who had been preselected for Ashgrove before Mr Newman unveiled his switch to state politics, will instead run for the party in Bulimba.
 
Mr Dillaway was among MPs and candidates who posed for photos with Mr Newman after the aspiring premier was endorsed as de facto opposition leader by the party room.