Dean Winter to be announced as Labor’s candidate for Franklin

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Dean Winter is expected to become Tasmanian Labor’s sixth candidate. (ABC News: Lucy Macdonald)

Kingborough Mayor Dean Winter is set to be announced as Labor’s sixth candidate for the seat of Franklin after Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White asked the party’s national executive to intervene. 


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Ms White wrote to Labor national secretary Paul Erikson on Tuesday that she supported Mr Winter being endorsed as a Labor candidate, after his nomination was shutdown by Labor’s left faction, who are the dominant arm of the state branch.

But a series of senior Labor figures, including former premiers Paul Lennon and David Bartlett, had supported his candidacy, with Mr Bartlett stating that not pre-selecting him would be a “disaster” for the party.

Ms White’s intervention came days after the Australian Workers Union asked Labor’s national executive to overhaul their already pre-selected candidates, claiming there had been “manipulation” during the process.

National executive is expected to formally endorse Ms White’s request on Tuesday afternoon.

Ms White said she had previously decided not to intervene in the issue, but decided it needed to be resolved before the close of nominations on Wednesday.

“I have written because this has gone on for too long, my approach has always been to try and build consensus and negotiate the best outcomes for the Labor Party and of course Tasmanian community, but it has become quite clear I have needed to intervene,” she said. 

Ms White said she had a responsibility to announce the best possible team of candidates.

“I think that Dean would be an excellent candidate for the Labor Party,” she said.

“He’s a very popular local mayor in the south of the state, he’s worked incredibly hard during his term as mayor — but he’s also been a member of the Labor Party for 15 years and he brings with him a number of qualities that would be of great benefit, not just for my Labor ticket and the Labor Party but for the community of Tasmania.

“At the end of the day, I am standing to be premier of Tasmania. My job is to represent the community and to present the best candidates for the Labor Party to take into a majority Labor government.”

Ms White said there was “no doubt” the internal stoush over Mr Winter’s candidacy had detracted from Labor’s campaign but hoped the focus could return to the issues of importance to Tasmania. 

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