FORMER Nationals pre-selection hopeful Andrea Cross has switched sides, taking up a volunteer role as independent candidate for Lowan Katrina Rainsford's campaign manager.
Earlier this year, Mrs Cross was in a five way pre-selection battle to be the next Nationals candidate for the seat.
Emma Kealy won pre-selection and is a hot favourite to become the next Member for Lowan at November's State Election.
Mrs Cross declined to comment on her switch and said she wanted to focus on Dr Rainsford's campaign.
Dr Rainsford said Mrs Cross was driven by the same passion for the community.
"She is my campaign manager and she's doing a fantastic job," she said.
Dr Rainsford unsuccessfully contested the Liberal Party pre-selection for Wannon in 2010, which Dan Tehan won.
After losing the pre-selection she contested the 2010 election in the same seat as an independent.
"I've been through pre-selection and Andrea's been through one and what doesn't go away is that you put your hand up because you care," Dr Rainsford said.
"You want to be part of making a difference and working for your community that's what we've got in common.
"Our paths crossed, we got talking and Andrea got to know me and she has decided to come on board.
"She wants to help me because she wants the best outcome for the electorate and I'm extremely grateful for her support and assistance."
Dr Rainsford previously contested Lowan in 2006 and Wimmera in 1999 as an endorsed Liberal candidate.
"There are some good people out there who I admire and respect, but I needed to see we were going to have good representation for Lowan," she said.
Dr Rainsford has been travelling around the electorate meeting people.
She said passenger rail and roads were the issues dominating her discussions.
"The ones that are really falling to pieces are the VicRoads roads," she said. "If politicians had to drive to Spring Street every day on roads like that they'd be fixed."
Dr Rainsford and Ms Kealy are up against Labor candidate Bob Scates, Australian Country Alliance candidate Steve Price and the Greens' Nkandu Beltz.