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Simon Kennedy Wins Liberal Preselection in Cook Following Scott Morrison’s Resignation

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Simon Kennedy Wins Liberal Preselection In Cook Following Scott Morrison's Resignation

Simon Kennedy, a former McKinsey consultant, has emerged as the winner in the Liberal Party’s preselection process for the Cook electorate following the resignation of former Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Kennedy, who previously contested the seat of Bennelong, secured 158 votes in a ballot that lasted nearly two and a half hours, surpassing three other candidates including Carmelo Pesce, the mayor of Sutherland Shire, Gwen Cherne, and Benjamin Britton.

The ALP is unlikely to field a candidate in the upcoming by-election, paving the way for Kennedy to potentially become the next Liberal representative in Canberra.

Simon Kennedy, although currently not residing in the area, has pledged to move to Woolooware soon after his victory. His primary focus is to address the ongoing cost of living crisis, with plans to advocate for the residents of Cook.

Having previously contested the seat of Bennelong in 2022 but narrowly lost to Labor’s Jerome Laxale, Kennedy’s victory in Cook marks a significant milestone in his political career.

The preselection outcome has raised some concerns about gender representation within the Liberal Party, with Charlotte Mortlock, the founder of Hilma’s Network, reportedly expressing dismay after the results were announced.

Gwen Cherne, a war widow and Veteran Family Advocate Commissioner, was the sole female candidate in the preselection race, emphasizing the ongoing challenges faced by women in political representation.

While Labor has not finalized its decision on contesting the Cook by-election, the Liberal Party’s strong position in the safe seat indicates a favorable outcome for Kennedy.

The date for the by-election is yet to be determined, with the Australian Electoral Commission and speaker Milton Dick playing key roles in the scheduling process.

Rachel Adams

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