Controversial GP challenges for Groom pre-selection
A TOOWOOMBA doctor has joined the race for the LNP pre-selection vote to stand for member for Groom Ian Macfarlane's seat at the next federal election.
An LNP spokesman confirmed David van Gend has added his name to the nomination list.
Dr van Gend, an outspoken voice against same-sex marriage and abortion, will challenge current member for Toowoomba South John McVeigh.
Dr van Gend has been involved with the Australian Marriage Forum, a group "concerned at how advocates are pushing for same-sex marriage without really presenting the reality of what this means for our nation".
In June 2015 his medical practice in Toowoomba was targeted with graffiti showing the words "Vangend bigot" in black and red spray paint.
The Groom seat has been up for grabs since current member Ian Macfarlane announced in February he would not contest the next election.
Member for Toowoomba South John McVeigh nominated for the seat on February 22.
If he wins the pre-selection, it will trigger a by-election for his state seat.
Pre-selection nominations closed at 5pm on Monday, but the pre-selection candidates expected to be announced within the next two weeks after a vetting process.
Candidates will then campaign internally within the party before the winner of the pre-election ballot is announced after a local member vote.
Both candidates have been previously vetted by the LNP.
The vote is expected to take place on the weekend of April 2.
Mr McVeigh has repeatedly refused to comment on the pre-selection process and nomination.
Dr van Gend has been contacted for comment but was unavailable.