Premier Jay Weatherill has apologised to Labor's Frome candidate Marcus Connelly after forgetting his name while visiting Crystal Brook at the weekend.
Weatherill was left red-faced after a Fairfax Media journalist asked the Premier where Connelly was, with the Premier asking "who is Marcus Connelly".
Speaking at a press conference in Adelaide on Tuesday, Weatherill said he just didn’t recall his name.
“As it happened I had met Marcus Connelly before, at that time I just couldn’t recall his name,” he said.
“I rang him and apologised. When you make a mistake it’s best you account for it.”
Mr Weatherill phoned Mr Connelly, telling him that it was his intention to travel to the CFS at Crystal Brook to catch up with people associated with the recent Bangor fire.
“It was certainly an oversight, by me, to not contact him, and I apologised to him for that discourtesy," Mr Weatherill said.
“He accepted my apology, and I’m sure he’ll recommit himself as the Labor candidate for Frome."
EARLIER THIS WEEK
Labor candidate for Frome Marcus Connelly told Fairfax Media on Monday he was considering his position after Premier Jay Weatherill forgot his name whilst visiting Crystal Brook at the weekend.
Mr Connelly said it was “not ideal” that the leader of his party didn’t know his name.
“It is disappointing when the Premier doesn’t know the name of the local candidate,” Mr Connelly said.
“I’ll be speaking to Reggie Martin (SA Labor Party secretary) today,” Mr Connelly said.
Mr Connelly said it’s “important” to know candidates' names in an election campaign, and believes it may hinder support in the local sub-branch.
“It’s disappointing for Labor voters in Frome that vote Labor year, after year, after year,” he said.
Fairfax Media questioned Mr Connelly whether Mr Weatherill would have remembered the name of a Labor candidate running in a Liberal-held marginal seat.
Mr Connelly, on reflection, said: “I think so”.
“Labor may not think chances are as good in Frome as in other electorates,” he said.
The local sub-branch, said to have between 20 and 30 members, haven’t been consulted by Mr Connelly at this stage, but he intends to organise a meeting to address the recent events.
Mr Connelly said the premier neglecting to learn his name may harm his party’s support in the electorate.
“It reflects on Labor support in Frome,” he said.
Asked whether it would have a negative impact on the vote, Mr Connelly responded, “I hope not”.
In an effort to play-down the gaffe, Mr Connelly excused Mr Weatherill’s negligence saying that as a leader he’s “tremendously busy”.
“I think he’s coping very well,” Mr Connelly said.
“But, it would be good if he knew my name.”
Since the event Mr Connelly said he has received “good support” from Labor supporters in Port Pirie.
But, he does feel that there’s a “strong possibility” that Labor will feel neglected in Frome.
“(Supporters) could feel neglected because he didn’t know the name of candidate,” Mr Connelly said.