Retired teacher and author Keith McMullen will contest the seat of Cowper for the Labor Party at the 2022 federal election.
Mr McMullen was preselected by the Labor Party on Friday [February 25].
The Cowper electorate stretches from Port Macquarie in the south to Coffs Harbour in the north.
Incumbent Nationals' MP Pat Conaghan has represented the people of Cowper since he was elected in 2019 after the retirement of Luke Hartsuyker who held the seat for The Nationals for 17 years. A 2022 federal election date has yet to be announced.
Mr McMullen looks forward to the election campaign.
"I am proud and honoured to be chosen by the Labor Party to contest the local seat of Cowper as part of Anthony Albanese's team for the 2022 election," Mr McMullen said.
"This is a vital election for us given the very real issues facing the people of Cowper and our country more generally."
He cites homelessness, housing affordability and ensuring development is managed to suit all involved parties as the big issues facing the electorate.
The 2022 federal election campaign will be Mr McMullen's first as a candidate which he views as an advantage.
Mr McMullen said he cared about local issues, was excited about the Labor Party's policies and he would work with enthusiasm and bring a fresh set of eyes to look at politics.
The Labor Party, if elected to government, has committed to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission, put in place a Housing Australia Future Fund to build social and affordable housing, lead a national push to close the gender pay gap, and create jobs, cut power bills, and reduce emissions by boosting renewable energy.
Mr McMullen wants to see some of the benefits of the party's policies flowing to Cowper.
His approach to the campaign will be to highlight the issues. He wants to visit the small communities while on the campaign trail.
Born, raised and schooled in Port Macquarie, Mr McMullen started his work life as a printer with the Port Macquarie News, then worked a painter and decorator before studying to become a high school teacher.
He taught English and history in Queensland, then moved to Hong Kong where he worked in local and international schools for a decade.
Mr McMullen moved back to Port Macquarie five years ago.
He added author to his list of achievements after researching and writing a coffee table book on the history of surfboard riding in Port Macquarie.
Cowper Labor Federal Electorate Council secretary and NSW ALP Administrative Committee member Paul Sekfy said Mr McMullen had the unanimous support of the Labor Party from Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie.
He said Mr McMullen's strengths as a candidate were his connection to Port Macquarie and the Mid North Coast more broadly and his understanding of the issues.
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