One of NSW Nationals preselection candidates in the run up to the Clarence by-election gets a vote of no confidence from one local in a letter to the editor in today’s The Daily Examiner:
I HAVE written a letter that I hope can be published and shared among the people of the Clarence Valley.
This letter has to do with the preselection occurring in the area and may very well help the people of the valley to vote right in order to assure the best, most promising candidate is chosen this weekend.
In 2007, Nationals Party MP Ian Causley retired after serving the party for 11 years. It was then that Chris Gulaptis (local man of Maclean at the time) became the new Nationals candidate.
While Mr Gulaptis was putting up a tough campaign, he still faced a difficult contest from his Labor opponent Janelle Saffin throughout the election.
The November 24, 2007, federal election revealed that Janelle Saffin accumulated more votes than Gulaptis from within the communities and was sure to be the better MP out of the two.
This outcome left many National Party members and supporters extremely disappointed.
During the campaign, Mr Gulaptis made himself well known as a friendly, compassionate and dedicated candidate.
When the announcement came through that Ms Saffin had won the seat and defeated Gulaptis, it wasn't too long before the people of the National Party realised there was another side to their "perfect candidate".
It is only expected that after an election is held, win or lose, that the candidate shows some form of appreciation and gratitude towards his/her members and volunteers - normally an after celebration.
Mr Gulaptis provided nothing for his party.
In fact, for a man who loved the party so much, it proved easy for him to decide that working in politics was no longer of interest to him.
He walked from the Nationals and left the Clarence Valley with his tail between his legs.
It is for that reason Gulaptis sounded like a media clown when he commented: "The Nationals on the North Coast are like a second family to me." The former candidate has always claimed that he relocated to Mackay in 2008 for work reasons.
There, in north Queensland, he had found himself a new career at a surveying firm and became responsible for its management.
It was not his decision to leave that left the people of the Valley saddened, but the shock of how soon it happened after the election.
The people of the Clarence Valley should want their chosen candidate to be somebody who is true to themselves and can be trusted; somebody who will show more concern about the people and the community in which he/she lives than themselves and their reputation. If Chris Gulaptis is appointed to the seat, all we can hope for is that the going never gets tough.
Pic from The Daily Examiner