The man the LNP wants to replace the Borg
UPDATE, 2.25: Preferred candidate James Lister will be officially sworn in to replace Lawrence Springborg in about two weeks time.
Goondiwindi Councillor and LNP electoral chairman Rob Mackenzie said Mr Lister was absent at this morning's vote count in Warwick.
It is understood LNP financial members were also given the option to vote for no candidate if they thought no one was suitable, as well as the three potential candidates.
"James couldn't be there this morning so he will have to sign forms and be formally accepted at management committee meeting in about fortnight's time," he said.
The Daily News asked Cr Mackenzie whether the no candidate option had received the second highest number of votes to Mr Lister.
He said he could not confirm what the margins were.
"I'm not sure of what would have been the exact process if no candidate had received the most votes but I believe the process would have to have have been redone if that were the case," he said.
Speaking from the RAAF Amberley Base where he is currently stationed, Mr Lister said he was excited to have secured the candidacy.
"It's a great honour to be chosen by my fellow LNP members as their candidate at the next election," he said.
"Following in the footsteps of Lawrence Springborg is a huge challenge and one that I'm ready for."
Mr Lister and his wife Belinda will now leave their roles with the Air Force to focus on the campaign trail.
UPDATE, 1.15: The father of the next LNP candidate for Southern Downs has remained tight-lipped hearing news.
Paul Lister, who lives in Stanthorpe, said he was proud of his son James, who has just been announced as the LNP candidate for the safely conservative seat.
"Of course we're very excited for him, but I'll ask you to address any questions to the LNP," Paul said.
The Daily News understands Mr Lister won the vote count, followed by no candidate, followed by Southern Downs Councillors Jo McNally and Cameron Gow.
EARLIER, 12.25: AIR FORCE officer James Lister has won preselection to become the LNP candidate for the Southern Downs.
The LNP began the count of votes of about 320 financial party members at the Senior Citizen's Centre in Warwick at 11am.
Currently at the RAAF Amberley Base, the 40-year-old father of two had hoped to move to the Southern Downs to join his family on the Granite Belt.
He has served in the Royal Australian Air Force for 17 years, including as aide-de-camp to Quentin Bryce while she was Queensland governor general from 2003 to 2008.
Mr Lister has 25 years of experience with the National Party, having joined the Young Nationals as a teen and previously serving as a party recruitment officer.
He also ran as the Nationals candidate for Logan in 1998, but lost to ALP candidate John Mickel.
The of Southern Downs was previously held by veteran MP Lawrence Springborg.
A date has not yet been set for the next election.