Shooters choose former Harden councillor as candidate

The Shooters Fishers and Farmers party have announced a candidate for the NSW Parliament seat of Cootamundra, of which Cowra is part.

The Shooters Party signalled their intention to run a candidate in the seat following the resignation of long serving state MP and National Party member Katrina Hodgkinson in late July.

On Wednesday the announced Matt Stadtmiller of Harden as their candidate to run in the Cootamundra by-election.

The National Party announced Young businesswoman Steph Cooke as their candidate for the seat following a pre-selection process recently.

The Electoral Commission is yet to announce a date for the by-election which was triggered following Ms Hodgkinson’s unexpected resignation.

A former Harden Shire councillor, Stadtmiller said he would fight against forced rural Council amalgamations.

“My Local Government experience has taught me the reality that we cannot rely on the Nationals to stand up against bad Liberal party policies,” he said.

“I know what it is like when the Nats abandon rural people.

“Until last year’s Orange by-election, families in country towns didn’t have a strong, electable alternative to the National Party. That stops today.”

Stadtmiller questioned whether his National party opponent would be willing to stand up against bad policy like her predecessor.

"Katrina Hodgkinson was respected by the Cootamundra electorate because sometimes she was willing to cross the floor against her own party's bad agenda,” he said.

“I don't believe the new National Party candidate would be willing to do that so early in her career. The Cootamundra electorate desperately needs a strong voice."

But Cootamundra National Party candidate Steph Cooke rubbished those claims. 

“One of the main reasons I was inspired to run for Cootamundra was because of the stand Katrina took on issues important to her communities,” she said. “I plan to invoke her spirit and do precisely the same thing, when necessary.”