This Saturday October 14 the electorate of Cootamundra will vote in a by-election for the State seat.
Cootamundra was won by the National Party at the 2015 election with a margin of 20.4% over Labor.
Saturday’s by-election was triggered by the sudden resignation of former member, National Party’s Katrina Hodgkinson.
The seat of Cootamundra includes Cowra, Grenfell, Young, Cootamundra, Gundagai, Junee, Narrandera, Temora and West Wyalong, covering 34,711 square kilometres and includes all of the Bland, Cowra, Coolamon, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Junee, Narrandera, Temora, Weddin shires and parts of Hilltops shire which resulted from the amalgamation of Boorowa, Harden and Young councils.
Cowra residents are reminded it is compulsory for Australian citizens, 18 years of age or older and a resident in the Cootamundra electorate (this includes Cowra and surrounding areas), to have enrolled and vote in the election.
The candidates in ballot paper order are:
Phillip Langfield – Christian Democrats Party: From the village of Wattamondara Mr Langfield has been a member of the Christian Democrats for 30 years. He previously contested the 2015 state election where he polled 2.3 percent and in the 2016 Riverina election with a result of 3.2 percent.
Jeffery Passlow – The Greens: Born in Gundagai Mr Passlow now resides in Stockinbingal.
The former pathologist staunchly believes a leadership change is imminent.
"When the by-election came up, the Burrinjuck Greens looked at me and I thought I should give it a go," the Stockinbingal resident said.
"There's absolutely no point in going into this situation and not being fair dinkum about it – my aim is to win.”
Mr Passlow is looking to turn heads in Cootamundra's traditionally conservative voter base and said he was pleasantly surprised by residents responding positively to having a Greens option on the ballot.
Matthew Stadtmiller – Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party: From Harden Mr Stadtmiller is the owner and editor of the Twin Town Times, a councillor on the Hilltops Council and was the Deputy Mayor of the former Harden Shire Council.
Jim Saleam – Independent: Mr Saleam will be contesting the seat for the Australia First Party – who are not registered in the NSW elections. Mr Saleam previously stood as the party’s candidate in the 2016 Federal election where he polled 1.2 percent for the seat of Lindsay and 0.7 percent in 2013 for the seat of Cook.
Charlie Sheahan – Country Labor: From Cootamundra Mr Sheahan will be contesting for the NSW seat for the second time, having previously stood as the Labor candidate in 2015. Mr Sheahan was also voted in as a councillor on the newly formed Cootamundra-Gundagai Council back in September.
Stephanie Cooke – The Nationals: Originally from Temora Ms Cooke now calls Young home. With a business in Cootamundra, Temora and Young the Nationals candidate’s background was originally in marketing, customer relations and branding. Ms Cooke was also the Executive Director of the Baking Industry Association of NSW.