Griffith’s Helen Dalton will be the candidate for the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party for the upcoming local by-election.
The by-election, to be held on October 14, will see Mrs Dalton challenge what has been recognised as a safe seat of Murray, which has been held by the National Party since 1984.
The official announcement was made by Party MLC Robert Brown at a media conference in Griffith yesterday, and he said Mrs Dalton offers a ‘‘strong voice’’ for the Murray electorate.
‘‘Helen is a well-known advocate who agrees with and supports all the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party policies, particularly in relation to farming,’’ he said.
‘‘She also has outspoken thoughts on the Murray Darling Basin Authority and Murray Darling Basin Plan — every checkbox we have, Helen has ticked.’’
Mrs Dalton was unavailable for comment at the time of going to print, however when she spoke with the Pastoral Times earlier this week she identified three key issues she would push for the Murray electorate, including education, water and health.
‘‘Helen is a local farmer who understands the issues faced by rural communities,’’ Mr Brown said.
‘‘She has grown up and raised children in the area and is a well-respected local who is at the forefront of agricultural politics.’’
At the 2015 election, Mrs Dalton ran against outgoing Member for Murray Adrian Piccoli.
Despite gaining the second highest number of first preference votes of any candidate — 6517 — Mrs Dalton was well behind Mr Piccoli who polled 20,158 first preference votes, or 55.69 per cent.
‘‘Helen received 18.5 per cent of primary votes as an independent at the 2015 election,’’ Mr Brown said.
‘‘We knew the Nationals were desperate to get her as a candidate this year and we know she will be a voice of passion for the electorate.’’
Despite there being only a few weeks left until the by-election, Mr Brown said the timing is apt.
‘‘The extremely short campaign suits us well — we have limited means and it will allow us to run a reasonable campaign for both of our candidates,’’ he said.
The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party candidate Matthew Stadtmiller will run against the NSW Nationals in the Cootamundra by-election.