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National Party selects Ilam candidate for 2023 election

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National announced its candidate will be running in the Ilam electorate in Christchurch as he seeks to win back the blue seat he long lost in the red tidal wave of 2020.

Medical researcher Dr Hamish Campbell was selected today by local party delegates from a shortlist of five candidates.

The Ilam electorate was created in 1996 and held by National MP Gerry Brownlee until the 2020 election when it lost to Labour’s Sarah Pallett.

Brownlee announced in August that he would only go on the slate in the 2023 election, giving a strong indication that he wanted to be president if National won in 2023.

Given this history of support for the National in the electorate, it was a popular choice for the candidates, and Campbell was up against James Christmas, Dale Stephens, Tracy Summerfield and Vanessa Weenink.

Campbell said he was “honoured” to be selected for Ilam, where he grew up and now lives.

“Having grown up and now living in Ilam, I have a deep connection to the electorate that is home to so many families who work hard to get ahead but fall back.”

In a statement, Campbell referred to the ‘cost of living crisis’ and targeted what he called Labor’s ‘wasteful spending’.

He also noted crime issues and pressures on the healthcare system, with the latest emergency department data showing 79% of patients were seen within the six-hour target, up from 93% five years ago. .

National’s candidate for New Plymouth will be selected on Monday. His former deputy, Jonathan Young, chose not to run again. One of the candidates is former Taranaki Regional Council Chairman David MacLeod, who is up against Waikato-based Ritesh Chandra. National lost the 2020 seat to Labour’s Glen Bennett.

Meanwhile, Labor is expected to announce its candidate in Hamilton West on Monday evening, while the Act board will meet on Sunday to decide whether or not to field a candidate in the by-election. National’s final selection is expected to take place in about a week, but is expected to announce its shortlist candidates this week.

-By Michael Neilson

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