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He also has the backing of former communications minister Richard Alston and former health minister Michael Wooldridge, both Victorians, as well as prominent local businessmen.Unlike the ALP, where preselections can be fought openly like cats in an alley, the Liberals mostly scrap behind closed doors.Friends of the challenger (consultant Alistair Armstrong has also nominated) say Frydenberg has been stunned by the vehemence of the campaign being levelled against him, and maintain that the Melbourne-born high-achiever, who claims Sir Zelman Cowen as both long-time friend and mentor, simply wants the opportunity to put his case."Don't think Josh Frydenberg got up the other day and suddenly said 'I might go for a gig in Parliament'," says a Canberra ally. He's the kind of guy who's full of enthusiasm, full of energy and very determined." On Frydenberg's ambition, the source adds: "Josh is always looking for what's next."Put it this way, if Petro's going anywhere, then the local powerbrokers will want to put their own man in the seat, not someone else's man." But Frydenberg's credentials include the fact that he is local.He's also being promoted by locals within the Kooyong electorate, namely the former chairman and vice-chairman of Kooyong's electorate council, Wolfgang Garwoli and Kevin Donnelly.Party rules prevent preselection candidates from spruiking publicly.Their supporters, likewise, are gagged, although some willingly offer opinions "not for attribution".
But, as he conceded to AJN, he "wasn't going to be the next Boris Becker, that's for sure".
Georgiou also has the backing of Ted Baillieu, touted as a prospective successor to State Opposition Leader Robert Doyle, as well as upper house MP David Davis.