PAUL Sekfy has expressed an interest in standing for election as the member for Cowper at this year’s Federal election.
The Nambucca Valley resident is a long time regional social development executive and small businessman.
A veteran State and Federal ALP campaigner, Paul Sekfy stood for Cowper in 1998 and was the ALP candidate for Cowper at the last Federal election after a stormy local election campaign for the party.
“Why wouldn’t I be interested, given that I did extremely well (in 2007) in spite of your newspaper’s campaign for someone who was not even a candidate,” Mr Sekfy said this week.
“I believe I have a lot of support within the ALP.
“There is an unprecedented level of public sector investment in Cowper and working in regional social development, I know it has made a difference.
“Look at the investment in education; in Southern Cross University and in schools – every school is a building site and $3 billion has been invested in the Pacific Highway – more than in 11 years of the Howard Government.
“The current member is less than adequate and I want to call him to account.”
The 2007 Federal election campaign saw Coffs Harbour’s John Fitzroy endorsed as the local ALP candidate in June 2007, but Mr Sekfy endorsed as the Cowper candidate in September 2007 after the Labor Party decided to upgrade their campaign.
The matter turned messy for the party when Mr Fitzroy initially refused to step aside.
While The Nationals Luke Hartsuyker won the seat, Mr Sekfy eroded his rival’s margin and the ALP has realistic hopes of eventually being able to wrest Cowper from the Nationals.
Mr Sekfy said preselection for the ALP candidate would be a democratic process with every registered branch member eligible to vote.