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Labour names TKC candidate

MATT RILKOFF
Last updated 05:00 26/03/2014

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Labour has tapped a Kapiti Coast councillor to contest the near-impregnable National stronghold of Taranaki-King Country.

Penny Gaylor, of Otaki, said she had already visited Inglewood and would be back in the rural electorate within two weeks to start campaigning officially.

"The party vote has determined who is the government so the party vote is always going to be critical. I want to see the next government is going to be a Labour government," Mrs Gaylor said yesterday.

Her selection to stand in one of the country's most geographically expansive electorates comes three months after she missed selection as Labour's candidate for Otaki.

National will select a candidate for Taranaki-King Country to replace the retiring Shane Ardern next month.

It will probably make little difference to the result anyway, with the electorate one of the safest National seats in the country.

In 2011 Mr Ardern won with a majority of 15,089, which was down on his 15,618 majority in 2008.

Labour's candidates got 5753 votes in 2011, 6844 in 2008 and 7749 in 2005.

By comparison the all-important party votes were 18,759 for National to Labour's 4950 in 2011; 19,232 to 6844 in 2008; and 17,760 to 7886 in 2005.

Mrs Gaylor is a second-term councillor on the Kapiti Coast District Council. She said she was seeking to transition from local to central government.

Strong on the environment, she is the chairwoman of her council's Environment and Community Development Committee and represents Labour's Regional and Rural Sector in the party's Women's Council.

In New Plymouth, Labour party bigwig Andrew Little has been confirmed as the party's candidate for the second time, as has Hamish McDouall for Whanganui.

Though yet to be officially announced, incumbent National MPs Jonathan Young and Chester Borrows plan to stand for re-election in their respective New Plymouth and Whanganui electorates.

The 2014 general election will be held on September 20.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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