Five women will battle it out to be the National Party representative in the upcoming Cootamundra By-election.
Former Hilltops Council administrator Wendy Tuckerman and Young Florist Steph Cooke are amongst the candidates.
It’s the first time in the 98-year history of the NSW Nationals that an all female field is in contention for preselection.
Retiring Cootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson said she was thrilled with the lineup of talented locals.
“Each and every one of the candidates would make an exceptional Member of Parliament” she said.
“I encourage all local Party members to turn up to preselection and have their say.”
The successful candidate will be selected by a plebiscite of all National Party members in Cootamundra on August 27.
State Director of The Nationals, Nathan Quigley said the eventual candidate will be chosen democratically by local members.
“At a time when the other parties are parachuting in career politicians picked by Sydney, every local member of The Nationals will have a say in who their representative will be with no outside interference,”he said.
The five candidates vying for preselection are:
Steph Cooke: A Young businesswoman who owns florists ‘Native Botanical’ and who had a former corporate career at major companies Coca Cola, Allied Mills, Goodman Fielder and the Baking Industry of NSW.
Wendy Tuckerman: Former Hilltops Council administrator Wendy Tuckerman served 14-years with the Australian Federal Police and settled with her husband on a farm near Boorowa where she was elected to Boorowa Council and served as Deputy Mayor from 2005-2007 and as Mayor from 2007-2016.
Rachel Smith: Rachel is veterinarian who lives with her husband and three children on a mixed cropping and sheep property between Young and Cootamundra. Her mother is Shelley Hancock, the first female Speaker in the NSW Parliament.
Miriam Dayhew: A former nurse and midwife with a 30 year career in health administration, Miriam is currently Ombudsman and Head of Campus at the Charles Sturt University at Wagga Wagga.
Ruth Fagan: Living in Cowra for 34 years, Ruth has worked as a journalist, tourism manager and has run a number of small businesses in town including a gift shop, a motel, a vineyard and now ‘The Closet’ dress shop. Ruth was first elected to Cowra Council in 2004.