Ex-AMA chief Glasson throws hat into Senate ring

Bill Glasson, pictured campaigning with Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the Griffith byelection, has confirmed he is a candidate to fill a Senate vacancy. AAP/Dan Peled

Bill Glasson, a Liberal hero for scoring a big swing against Kevin Rudd at the 2013 federal election, is nominating for Liberal preselection for the Queensland Senate vacancy created by the departure of Brett Mason.

Glasson, who is a close friend of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, also achieved a subsequent swing in the byelection in Griffith caused by Rudd’s resignation after his election loss.

The Senate vacancy is filled by appointment.

Mason, who was dropped from a parliamentary secretary job in last year’s reshuffle, is expected to be announced soon as ambassador to The Hague.

A former president of the Australian Medical Association, Glasson was helped in the Griffith contests by his high level of personal popularity.

He and Abbott first had dealings when Abbott was health minister in the Howard government and Glasson was at the helm of the AMA. They had extensive negotiations over the touchy issue of medical indemnity.

The preselection will be on May 16.