A 22-year-old racing car driver could be the Liberal Party's candidate for Wollongong at next year's state election.
Well-known Wollongong Liberal councillor John Dorahy - thought by many to be a shoo-in for the candidacy after he received 36 per cent of the primary vote in Keira in 2011 - missed his party's June 30 candidate nominations deadline.
But a fresh-faced Young Liberal from Mount Kembla, Cameron Walters, told the Illawarra Mercury on Friday he was "very confident" of gaining support from his party to be the Wollongong candidate.
"I have put a nomination in, but at the moment I am just waiting for it to be confirmed," he said.
Mr Walters is a University of Wollongong commerce student and state champion racing car driver who, according to his Facebook page, has "over 300 race wins in karts, one state title, two Canberra cups and 4 Club Championships wins".
He is believed to be a member of his party's Right faction.
"As a young person, I feel like there's just no representation for the community as a whole and I just want to see actual change in the Illawarra," he told the Mercury.
"I'm very confident, I'm well known down here in the Young Liberals and I've helped out with past candidates and have always been that person in the background when John Howard and Tony Abbott were visiting down here."
On Friday, Cr Dorahy confirmed he would definitely not be running against popular Labor MP Ryan Park in the Keira electorate, and also said he had not nominated to run in the seat of Wollongong.
But Cr Dorahy said this did not mean he had ruled out a career in state politics, and was "still considering his options".
It is believed stalwart Liberal campaigner Phillip Clifford will face Mr Park in Keira, while another young candidate is believed to be under consideration for Shellharbour.
An accountant at Wollongong heath fund Peoplecare, 27-year-old Flinders resident Mark Jones has been tipped as the most likely Liberal contender.
However, when contacted by the Mercury, Mr Jones said he could not comment on candidate nominations until they were finalised.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward, who was the first Liberal Party MP in the state to be re-endorsed several months ago, was tight-lipped about his party's potential candidates for the region.
He did say candidate nominations had closed and nominees were due to be assessed by a Liberal Party review committee.
The three new Illawarra candidates would probably be finalised in the coming weeks, after they had been endorsed by local branch members, Mr Ward said.
While Maryanne Stuart is running for Labor in Heathcote and Gerroa barrister Glenn Kolomeitz is the party's candidate for Kiama, incumbents Mr Park, Wollongong MP Noreen Hay and Shellharbour MP Anna Watson have not yet been pre-selected.