The National party’s former member for Cootamundra has responded to Matthew Stadtmiller’s pre-selection for the Cootamundra by-election in dramatic fashion on social media.
Katrina Hodgkinson replied to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidacy through her official Twitter account with the phrase “Zieg Heil”.
It follows a National Party spokesperson slurring Shooters MLA Robert Borsak last week by saying his only achievement was shooting and eating an elephant.
The Nazi inference has outraged Mr Stadtmiller and Mr Borsak, with both calling for a formal apology from Ms Hodgkinson, Ms Cooke and Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
“My father escaped Buchenwald concentration camp at the end of World War II and I am disgusted by Ms Hodgkinson’s slur against our by-election candidate,” Mr Borsak said.
“This shows that not only do the National Party not have the answers, they also don’t even understand the question,” Mr Stadtmiller said.
“When I put my hand up to be the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party candidate for this by-election I knew that the National Party would be fighting a desperate, dirty campaign – but I didn’t think they would sink so low so soon.
Ms Hodgkinson and Adrian Piccoli are National Party representatives who have recently announced their resignation from NSW Parliament – sparking by-elections in the seats of Cootamundra and Murray respectively.
While the National Party hold both seats by comfortable margins, a poll by The Area News shows 62 per cent of respondents intend to vote for the Shooters in Murray, compared to just 25 per cent for the National Party.
Guns lobby group Firearm Owners United have also weighed into the debate.
“We expect this sort of thing from Greens candidates, not from outgoing Nationals,” group president James Buckle told the Herald on Thursday morning.
“It’s just another sign the Nationals have abandoned their rural constituents and we’ll be actively lobbying against them in the Cootamundra by-election.”
Fairfax Media has contacted the former Member for Cootamundra and the Nationals Party for comment.
Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) attempts to cut Griffith and Temora hospital services have shaped as the big issue in both electorates.
The Shooters have condemned the MLHD, while the The National Party have remained silent. NSW Government Health Minister Brad Hazzard has expressed his 100 per cent support for the MLHD managers.
More to come.
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