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National Pre-Selection - (No. 4 & last)

Scott Simpson is the candidate. He won hands down last evening on the both the speech and the Q & A.

Scott is an apparatchik who has stood unsucessfully in Tamaki, and more recently in Rodney from which he withdrew, after the revelations on Whale Oil about the attempted South Afican religious right takeover in that electorate. It was all a bit messy but no one seems to know exactly why Scott withdrew.

He has a reputation as a strong organiser within the party, but may not go down particularly well here with the rank and file even though he claims to be fouth generation and has long-time family connections still farming at Wharekaho (Simpson's Beach), together with a holiday house at Kuautunu.

He has two adult children, is a graduate of Auckland University, a Justice of the Peace and currently CEO of the nationwide children's charity, Make-A-Wish NZ. He has previously held General Manager roles with Protector Safety, HPM NZ and Caroma Industries.

He indicated that he would move to Thames following his selection for Coromandel.

The upside is that he is about as far removed from the the incumbent as you could imagine. I don't think you will see any of the antics that we have had to put up with over the last few years, and that have put the leadership and other members of caucus off-side. He could have a fast ride upwards based on the strong connections he has made within the Party. 

And I don't think suspicion of him being a 'ring-in' will be sufficient to alter the course of the election. The selection delay won't have much effect - Hugh Kininmouth has not exactly been 'out there' in the electorate since his selection at the end of 2010. He may be a good operator, and done a great job with Te Korowai, but he will need to work very hard to counter Scott Simpson's hustings skills.

It is possible that Labour don't give him much of a chance, and that they will instead be hustling the party vote come September.

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