Prime Minister Scott Morrison has thrown his full support behind Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs for the vacant federal seat of Eden-Monaro, saying she knows how to get things done.
Kotvojs, a former teacher, scientist, and small business operator from Dignams Creek, won preselection on May 23 night over defense department official Mark Schweikert.
She has been given a second chance to have a crack at federal politics after narrowly losing to Labor’s Mike Kelly a year ago in the federal election.
Kelly stood down from the seat earlier this month due to health reasons.
A date hasn’t been set for the by-election but it is expected in late June or early July.
“I’m so pleased that she received that overwhelming endorsement of our local party members,” Morrison told reporters in Murrumbateman, in the seat of Eden-Monaro on May 24.
“This is someone who knows how to get things down.”
He said she now wanted to lead the way back for the people of Eden-Monaro from drought, bushfires, and the coronavirus as their representative.
Kotvojs said it was an honor to stand in the seat again.
“My community is who I am,” she said.
“It has formed me and as a consequence of that, I give back to the community and I see that as critically important.”
She will up against Labor’s Kristy McBain, the former Bega mayor, who hit the campaign trail earlier this month.
The by-election sparked tension between NSW government frontbenchers John Barilaro and Andrew Constance, before 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.
By Colin Brinsden