John Carter’s retirement at the 2011 election, means his prized Northland seat is up for grabs, and with a 10,000+ majoirty in the electorate vote and 9,000+ in the party vote, you would expect a lot of interest in the National nomination.
And so it is. My spies report that even though nominations will not open until the 11th of March next year, there are already 12 known candidates. Three of them have publicly declared – Mike Sabin, Grant McCallum and Mark Tan. Six other men, and three women are also known to be intending to stand. By March, the numbers may hit 15 or even 20.
Northland has the highest membership of any electorate for National – around 1,800 people, and with a contested selection could rise to over 3,000. All 12 prospective candidates live in the electorate.
The likely date for the selection is on the 30th of April. Prior to that the pre-selection committee will have what could be a very tough job of whittling the field down to five candidates.
Mike Sabin is a former Police Detective and now a expert on Methamphetamine and drug policy.
Grant McCallum is a farmer and long-serving activist and officer for National – he is currently on the Board of Directiors, which indicates considerable grass-roots support.
Mark Tan is a local teacher who has impressed a few people as a “dark horse” to watch.
It will be a very interesting race to watch. The winner is likely to have a long parliamentary career. They will also have almost impossibly large boots to fill as a local MP.Tags: Grant McCallum, John Carter, Mark Tan, Mike Sabin, National, Northland