THE Labor Party preselection battle in the seat of Barton has taken a new twist, with former Hurstville mayor Steve McMahon poised to run.
Mr McMahon, whose down-to-earth approach included selling the mayoral car to build a children’s playground, will enter the fray if former premier Morris Iemma decides against a return to politics.
A newspaper report on Wednesday said Mr Iemma had advised senior party figures he would not be nominating.
While this would not be a surprise, Mr McMahon said Mr Iemma had told him he had not yet made up his mind.
‘‘If Morris runs he has my full support, but he was very encouraging when I suggested if he didn’t run, I would like to put my hand up,’’ he said.
Mr McMahon said former deputy premier John Watkins, whom he had got to know well while working for former Oatley MP Kevin Greene, was also ‘‘very positive and encouraging’’.
‘‘I don’t go into this with a swag of numbers, but with a record of practical achievements during my time as mayor,’’ he said.
‘‘I believe less in politics and perks and more in getting things done.’’
Mr McMahon joined the council in 1999 and was mayor in 2012.
Other likely preselection contenders include Shane O’Brien, who is mayor of Rockdale and assistant secretary of the Public Service Association, and Kirsten Andrews of the noise-monitoring Sydney Airport Community Forum
It is understood Ms Andrews, who has the support of federal Environment Minister Tony Burke, will run only if Mr Iemma, for whom she used to work, does not seek preselection.
It is believed Ms Andrews and Mr O’Brien, both in the right-wing faction, enjoy roughly equal support among branch members.
Upper house MP and former Rockdale mayor Shaoquett Moselmane said any decision he made on whether to run would be in consultation with head office.
He described as ‘‘mischievous’’ claims his interest was purely a means to seek a more secure position on Labor’s upper house ticket for the next election.
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Hopeful: Former Hurstville Mayor Steve McMahon pictured at Hurstville in March last year. Picture: Jane Dyson
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