Pasin endorsed

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Pasin endorsed

Sitting MP Tony Pasin has easily seen off a challenge from registered nurse Katherine McBride to win Liberal Party endorsement for the seat of Barker at the next federal poll due in 2025.

He polled 284 votes to only 58 from his challenger at the secret ballot of Liberal Party members at the new racecourse at Murray Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

Both candidates had lobbied party members for votes in the past month with Ms McBride having the support of former member for Barker Patrick Secker and her husband Member for MacKillop Nick McBride.

Among the backers of Mr Pasin were Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM and former House of Representatives Speaker Neil Andrew.

Chaired by state vice-president Ella Winnall, the pre-selection forum had followed past practice of each candidate speaking for five minutes followed by five minutes of questions.

Among those to put questions were Adrian Pederick MP and Nicola Centofani MLC.

The formal proceedings were due to be followed by an address by prominent political and media identity Peta Credlin but she was unable to be present.

It was just the sixth such pre-selection ballot in Barker within the past 49 years.

The seat of Barker has never been represented by a female in its 120-year history and Ms McBride became just the third woman to contest Liberal preselection for the seat.

The others are Vickie Chapman and Penny Pratt and both later became State Liberal MPs.

Mr Pasin said he was humbled and honoured to have been pre-selected as the Liberal candidate.

“Our Liberal Party is strengthened by our commitment to democratic processes at all levels,” Mr Pasin said.

“This tradition has continued at Murray Bridge on Saturday and the Liberal Party members in Barker were asked to select the candidate best equipped to represent our Liberal Party as we seek to hold the seat of Barker at the Federal election.

“Since being elected to the Federal Parliament in 2013, I have committed myself to the service of the electorate and I am extremely proud of what my team and I have achieved in partnership with members of our Liberal Party and the broader community.

“This success was reflected in the trust and support shown by the electoral college at Murray Bridge.

“I look forward to continuing to be part of a Coalition team that proves themselves to be a trustworthy alternative Government for the next Federal election.”

Speaking on behalf of the Liberal Party, Ms Winnall congratulated Mr Pasin on the result.

“He is a hard-working local MP and Liberal Party members have endorsed him to continue this hard work into the future,” Ms Winnall said.

“The Barker community is well served by Tony’s advocacy and passion for regional South Australians.

“He also serves as the Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, part of Peter Dutton’s team that is holding the Labor Government to account and developing the Liberal Party’s positive plans to take to the next Federal Election.”

Ms McBride has been contacted for comment.

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