Ex-Mayor leads National Party bid

The long-time Mayor of one of the largest councils in South Australia is to head the Legislative Council ticket for the National Party at the March 19 poll.

Businessman Gary Johanson was at the helm of the blue-collar Port Adelaide Enfield City Council from 2006-18.

He has already made two attempts to enter state politics as an Independent and one with another minor party.

Mr Johanson almost seized the safe Labor seat of Port Adelaide after the retirement of former Treasurer Kevin Foley prompted a by-election in 2012, with a two-candidate preferred vote of 47.1%.

He ran again in the nearby Labor seat of Lee in 2014, polling 11.2% of the primary vote.

While still Mayor, he unsuccessfully stood for Nick Xenophon’s SA Best party in the seat of Port Adelaide at the last state poll in 2018.

Mr Johanson was a member of the Liberal Party for 14 years, including spending a period on its policy committee, but quit the party several years ago.

His running mate in the coming election will be Murray Bridge food scientist Lisa Sherry.

The SA Nationals leadership are excited about the quality and profile of their Upper House candidates

“We are offering a credible choice for South Australians looking to vote for people with traditional Australian family values,” SA Nationals president and MacKillop candidate Jonathan Pietzsch said.

“South Australians will now have a real choice in the Upper House, with people who have a track record of delivering for their communities, who have their hearts in the right place and a hands-on approach to fixing problems.

“These are people worth voting for.”

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