Two big names, with substantial dynasties on the Fleurieu, have entered the race for Mayo ahead of the pending by-election.
Former member Rebekha Sharkie’s resignation last week over the dual citizenship saga left Mayo up for grabs and the public preparing to return to the polls.
Within days, Georgina Downer, daughter of former Liberal politician Alexander Downer who held Mayo for 24 years, announced she would return to her hometown to run for the Libs.
On Thursday, May 17, the Greens are set to announce renowned Aboriginal Elder Major Sumner AM as their candidate, in an effort to create a strong environmental voice for Mayo.
Downer and Sumner will challenge the reputation Ms Sharkie has created in her two years in office as she fights to regain her former seat.
After decades living away, Ms Downer said she was returning to her childhood home on the Fleurieu.
“Like so many young South Australians, I went interstate and overseas to seek out job opportunities,” she said.
“Now I am coming home to use those experiences and give back to my community.”
Acknowledging she enters the race as the underdog, Ms Sharkie said she hoped her actions over the past two years would be enough to see her voted back in.
“I’m a local… I know every inch of this community and I will always put it first,” she said.
“We’ve learnt that in Canberra marginal seats matter and we’ve made Mayo matter that way… there is just so many more things I want to do for the community I love.”
Major ‘Moogy’ Sumner is a Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority board member, a board member of Black Dance Australia, and the artistic director of the Tal Kin Jeri dance group.
In recent years, he has been involved in the Fight for the Bight campaign and the Save our Murray campaign.
The Australian Electoral Commission is yet to confirm a date for the by-election, which could be within the coming months.
In the coming editions, The Times will profile all candidates running for Mayo.
We’ve learnt that in Canberra marginal seats matter and we’ve made Mayo matter that wayRebekha Sharkie