Nationals have a large field of nominees for pre-selection

THE Nationals say the party has had such strong interest in it's pre-selection process to find a candidate for the Federal seat of Cowper that the close of nominations has been extended until next Wednesday.

The party's call for nominations were initially set to close last Friday, but a NSW Nationals spokesman confirmed there had been an extension until Wednesday, October 3.

Labor's candidate for Cowper Andrew Woodward, who is waiting to find out his political rival, asked the question as to when a successor to the Nationals retiring incumbent Luke Hartsuyker will be endorsed and publicly announced.

Labor candidate for Cowper Andrew Woodward.
Labor candidate for Cowper Andrew Woodward. Trevor Veale

"The National Party is struggling to find a candidate for Cowper," Mr Woodward said.

"It is incredible to think that they can't find an acceptable candidate for a seat they have held for 97 out of the last 99 years.

"The outgoing member announced on August 8 that he was departing.

"Six weeks on; the National Party can't come up with anyone they're happy to win."

 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack with Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker and NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey in Coffs Harbour on Monday.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack with Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker and NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight and Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey in Coffs Harbour on Monday. Rachel Vercoe

The Nationals NSW head office fired back saying a wealth of quality candidates had already expressed their desire to stand for pre-selection with the hope of being endorsed to contest next year's election.

"Labor is struggling to get cut-through in Cowper," the Nationals head office said in a statement.

"The fact is we've got so many quality candidates and we're trying to find a date to suit them all.

"The change in date is simply an administrative matter that Labor is trying to beat up, that's all."

Mr Woodward said he expected to find out who his political rival would be in December, but The Nationals indicated it could be much sooner than that.

 

Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, has been preselected to re-contest the seat for The Nationals.
Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, has been preselected to re-contest the seat for The Nationals. Sophie Moeller

Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack was in Coffs Harbour this week to announce the concept design for the Coffs Harbour Pacific Highway Bypass project with Mr Hartsuyker, so no doubt planning and interviews of candidates may be well under way already.

 

Coffs Harbour City councillor Sally Townley has been preselected to stand in Cowper for the Greens.
Coffs Harbour City councillor Sally Townley has been preselected to stand in Cowper for the Greens. Trevor Veale

In Cowper so far Mr Woodward has been pre-selected for Labor and Coffs Harbour City councillor and environmental scientist Sally Townley has been endorsed for the Greens.

 

Patrick Deegan has won preselection to represent the seat of Page for Labor at the next federal election.
Patrick Deegan has won preselection to represent the seat of Page for Labor at the next federal election.

Further north, and Kevin Hogan was pre-selected by the Nationals to re-contest the seat of Page at the weekend.

Labor has pre-selected Casino's Patrick Deegan and the Greens have endorsed Daniel Reid as the party's candidate.

 

Greens candidate for the seat of Page Daniel Reid at his press conference in Spinks Park in Lismore.
Greens candidate for the seat of Page Daniel Reid at his press conference in Spinks Park in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg


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