Ms Dowie was endorsed by a meeting of local party members in Invercargill tonight.
“National is taking nothing for granted in Invercargill this year, and the selection of a candidate of Sarah’s calibre reflects that,” says National’s Southern Region Chair, Ele Ludemann.
Eric Roy won it in 2011 with a 6,263 majority so it is comfortable, but not absolutely safe. Eric got 55% of the candidate vote and National got 50% of the party vote.
Sarah Dowie is an Invercargill-based solicitor. As the daughter of two police officers, justice and law and order issues are part of her DNA.
After graduating from Otago University and being admitted to the Bar in 1998, Sarah established a successful career practicing commercial and environmental law.
39-years-old, Sarah lives in Invercargill with husband Mark Billcliff and their two pre-school children. Mark is a former first class cricketer and Southland representative, who now gives back by coaching local youth.
Sarah is an appointee to the Otago-Southland Lotteries Board. Instinctively community-minded, she also provides free legal services to community groups.
She is a former manager for the Department of Conservation in its tourism and concession wing and is now a trustee and Deputy Chair of the Dog Island Motu Piu Conservation Trust, which is working to eradicate pests on the island and restore it as a viable habitat for tuatara.
It’s good to see candidates of Sarah’s calibre get selected. She’s had a successful professional career and is very involved in the community.