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