THE Voices of Mornington Peninsula group will support Dr Sarah Russell as a candidate for the seat of Flinders in the federal election expected in May.
The group’s first choice, Claire Boardman, withdrew from the electoral race just weeks after being chosen saying it was more important to stay in her job as the state government’s deputy commander for COVID (“Candidate withdraws due to Omicron effect” The News 24/1/22).
Now, after a series of meetings to decide whether to actually back a candidate, Voices of Mornington Peninsula last weekend decided on Dr Russell.
Five candidates are already campaigning for the seat held by retiring Liberal MP Greg Hunt for the past 20 years are Zoe McKenzie (Liberal), Surbhi Snowball (Labor), Colin Lane (Greens), Despi O’Connor (independent) and Morgan Jonas (United Australia Party). Ms O’Connor, a Mornington Peninsula Shire councillor, announced her candidature after failing to be endorsed by the VMP group.
Voices of Mornington Peninsula co-chair Janelle Magee said in a news release that the group decided to endorse Dr Russell at a meeting at Dromana on Sunday (13 February).
A majority of the 75 members of VMP at the meeting voted to endorse Dr Russell.
She said it had always been VMP’s goal “to improve the political representation for residents on the peninsula”.
Dr Russell trained as a critical care nurse before completing a Bachelor of Arts and a PhD at the University of Melbourne. She has been the principal researcher at Research Matters since 1999. Her work has focused on public health, mental health, ethics, and aged care (Mr Hunt is the federal health and aged care minister).