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Eden-Monaro byelection: Fiona Kotvojs wins Liberal party preselection | Australian politics

1 min read

Dr Fiona Kotvojs has decisively won a vote of Liberal party members in the contest to become the party’s candidate for the federal seat of Eden-Monaro.

Kotvojs, a former teacher, scientist and small business operator from Dignams Creek, won preselection on Saturday night over defence department official Mark Schweikert.

It means she will become the Liberal candidate in the upcoming byelection, subject to party endorsement.

The Eden-Monaro seat was left vacant after the retirement of Labor MP Mike Kelly, who narrowly beat Kotvojs in the 2019 election.

Earlier this month, the announcement of a byelection sparked tension between New South Wales frontbenchers John Barilaro and Andrew Constance, after both Coalition MPs pulled out of the race.

Constance – the Liberal transport minister – withdrew only 24 hours after seeking preselection when a newspaper front page revealed Barilaro had used a crude word to describe him to colleagues.

Barilaro – the state Nationals leader and deputy premier – had previously announced he wouldn’t be contesting the seat.

Labor has preselected former Bega mayor Kristy McBain, who hit the campaign trail earlier this month.

Nationals leader Michael McCormack, meanwhile, has said his party has not yet given up on running a candidate.

A date hasn’t been set for the byelection but it is expected in late June or early July.

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