Last week Craig Baumann decided to withdraw from his position as the Liberal candidate for Port Stephens for the upcoming 2015 State election.
Mr Baumann said that with the ICAC [Independent Commission Against Corruption] having announced it is deferring the final report on Operation Spicer until after a High Court challenge in the Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen affair, withdrawing is for the good of the current Government.
“It would be unusual for the High Court challenge to occur before the election and I do not want the Premier to be in a position where he has to leave the future of Port Stephens in limbo,” Mr Baumann said.
With this announcement, by Baumann, speculation has been that perhaps Ken Jordan, a popular Port Stephens councillor may look to run in the state election.
Myall Coast News even heard that Port Stephens mayor Bruce Mackenzie has been discussing his thoughts.
No formal announcements have yet been made at the time of publishing.
Kate Washington, Labor Candidate for Port Stephens, was not surprised by Mr Baumanns announcement releasing a statement within hours of the Baumann announcement.
Ms Washington believes the communities do not want a Liberal government.
This being the case or not, it may have been far more ideal for Washington to run against Baumann, given all the ICAC ‘goings-on’, than for her to now compete against a fresh face/s.
Ms Washington said that it doesn’t matter who the Liberals put up as a candidate.
“Since Craig Baumann gave evidence at ICAC, I’ve spoken with many people in my community upset and disappointed by the activities disclosed,” said Ms Washington.
“The next Liberal candidate will just be another in the line who will put developer interests before the interests of our community,” she said.
Mr Baumann publically accepted responsibility for his actions after the ICAC hearing which have all led to his withdrawal.
“My decision is based on protecting the people of Port Stephens from a Labor Member which would be disastrous for our community,” he said.
Myall Coast News spoke to Len Roberts who confirmed he was not going to throw his hat into the ring.
“I can confirm that I was asked to consider standing and I had strong support to do so,” said Mr Roberts.
“However, Ken Jordan, whom I know and is a man of integrity, was available to run.”
Len Roberts said he would give Mr Jordan his full support and in his opinion would make an excellent state member.
Mr Roberts said, “I know the Labor candidate is a really nice person, but would not be in government.’
Mr Roberts said, “We need someone to represent us who will be in government. Ken Jordan is an ideal choice.”
know the Labor candidate is a really nice person, but would not be in government. We need someone to represent us who will be in government. Ken Jordan is an ideal choice”