Lee seeks Maungakiekie

The Herald reports:

An Auckland councillor who has politics “in her bones” has put her hand up to replace MP Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.

Centre-right councillor (formerly Krum) told the Herald she will seek the Party nomination for the Auckland electorate.

The selection process is expected to be outlined in the next couple weeks.

Lee was elected in October for her second term as the Maungakiekie-Tamaki councillor.

New Auckland Mayor Phil Goff included her in his “Cabinet” as deputy chair on the planning committee that has responsibility for issues including housing and transport.

The 46-year-old said Lotu-Iiga’s announcement in December that he would not seek re-election came as a surprise.

“The timing is not ideal. Had I known that Sam was going to announce this I would have been more than likely to not have run for council.”

I think it is a different scenario when a vacancy for a parliamentary seat comes up as a surprise, and a Councillor decides to go for it, and when they seek a term on Council at the very same time as seeking a nomination for Parliament. Basically you can’t control the timing sometimes.

Whoever National selects, they will face a tough fight against Labour candidate Priyanka Radhakrishnan, a policy analyst and advisor for the party, who has previously worked for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs.

I expect Maungakiekie to be a very close race and the quality of the candidates will count.

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