SA election: Xenophon candidates include regional mayor Sam Johnson, staffer Frank Pangallo
Nick Xenophon’s SA Best Party has revealed Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson will be on its Upper House ticket for the South Australian election on March 17. Mr Johnson said he wants to be a voice for regional South Australia. “Outside of the greater Adelaide area, there is no current member of the Legislative Council that actually lives and resides in regional South Australia,” he said.
“I want my kids to have the choice to have a future, an education, in regional South Australia, and not just my kids, everyone’s kids to have that opportunity.”
Mr Xenophon’s previous media adviser, former commercial TV journalist Frank Pangallo, will also be on the SA Best ticket for the Upper House.
Opinion polling has suggested the fledgling SA Best will perform well on polling day, after Mr Xenophonquit Federal Parliament to seek a return to the state arena.
A long-time Xenophon staffer Connie Bonaros is also on the ticket, in the number one position, followed by Mr Pangallo then Mr Johnson.
The Port Augusta Mayor was once a Liberal Party member and spoke of considering a run for the federal SA seat of Grey.
SA Transport Minister, Labor’s Stephen Mullighan, said the move proved Mr Xenophon held Liberal loyalties.
“That another Liberal member can slip effortlessly into the Nick Xenophon team shows how closely aligned with the Liberal Party the Nick Xenophon team are,” he said.
“Nick’s a former member of the Liberal Party — and in Canberra he worked with federal Liberals to slash hundreds of thousands of dollars from every school across our state by cutting the Gonski school funding deal.”