Packed ballot to contest election

Liberal Member for Barker Tony Pasin faces a record eight challengers in his bid to win a fourth term in office at the May 21 poll.

It is understood that Barker has never before attracted nine nominations since the seat was created in 1903.

Of the nine nominations which were lodged ahead of the nationwide deadline on Thursday, seven are party-endorsed candidates and two are independents.

Mr Pasin’s main challenger is set to be the Labor Party’s Mark Braes who also contested the State Election last month in the local seat of MacKillop.

The Millicent lawyer/mediator was Wattle Range Mayor from 2006-2010 and later chaired the South East Natural Resources Management Board.

National Party State president and Tintinara farmer Jonathan Pietzsch also made an unsuccessful bid for MacKillop and has nominated for Barker.

Greens candidate Rosa Hallam is making her second run for Barker as she stood at the last poll in 2019.

Mount Gambier IT consultant David Swiggs has been endorsed by Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party while Carlos Quaremba will represent Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

The seventh party candidate is Kym Hanton, of the newly-formed Australian Federation party.

Vince Pannell is an independent candidate for office along with prominent Mount Gambier freedom campaigner Maddy Fry.

Meanwhile, Mr Pasin has recently emerged from isolation after contracting the COVID virus.

“I started feeling unwell experiencing flu like symptoms and immediately tested myself for COVID using a rapid antigen test, “Mr Pasin said.

“This test and subsequent testing confirmed a positive result.

“Consequently, I isolated as per SA Health guidelines, for seven days.

“I am triple vaccinated and my symptoms were mild.”

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