National Party flyers circulating at Cowper's headquarters attacking the independent candidate, Rob Oakeshott. (ABC Coffs Coast: Claudia Jambor)
The last week of the electoral campaign in New South Wales, home of the northwestern coast of Cowper, has turned bad.
Television announcements hit the airwaves and flyers were delivered to houses across the National Party electorate, making accusations against high-profile independent candidate Rob Oakeshott.
"The mud bucket has been opened," Oakeshott said in a video response published on his Facebook page.
Independent Cowper candidate Rob Oakeshott has responded to citizen announcements on Facebook.
"He can also take back some"
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack defended the advertisement.
He accused Oakeshott of launching an attack on a man who claimed to be McCormack's son.
"Rob Oakeshott doesn't bother to throw it out, if he wants to give it out, then he can get it back," McCormack said.
Among the statements made in the advertisement, commissioned by the National Party, Mr. Oakeshott "pocketed his (taxes)" money, whether it is the salary of his policeman, quiet pensions or electoral funding ".
He also accused him of never having "done a hard day's work in his life" and of wanting to "recharge his old age savings (tax payers)".
Oakeshott addressed the claims in his video on social media, including claims related to his "police pension".
"I'm actually giving up that state pension to run for parliament," Oakeshott said.
This National Party flyer was delivered to Coffs Harbor homes by attacking the independent candidate, Rob Oakeshott. (ABC Coffs Coast: Claudia Jambor)
"It's not a personal attack, it's a fact": national candidate
Oakeshott is also a little amused by the tag line for the campaign: "Tell Rob it's time to do a real job."
"Everyone should declare to the National Party that representing Cowper's home is a real job," he said.
The former police officer and lawyer Patrick Conaghan is the candidate of the National Party for Cowper – he said the line has nothing to do with becoming a deputy.
He confirmed that he saw the flyer before it came out, but said that the National Party ads are a matter for the party.
"I do not agree that it is a personal attack on Rob, he is declaring facts and not bullying," Conaghan said.
"I have been running a really clean campaign for the past six months.
"Rob and I have a healthy respect for each other."
Cowper has long been a national party stronghold
The answer to why things have become so bright for Cowper can be found in the history of the place.
Cowper was detained by the citizens and their predecessors for 117 of the 119-year-old seat, and by retired MP Luke Hartsuyker since 2001.
In the 2016 elections, Oakeshott challenged the polling station and, despite starting its campaign three weeks after the polling station, obtained 26.3% of the votes, overtaking the Labor party and reducing the National Party's margin to only 4, 5%.
The Oakeshott campaign in 2019 should be supported by the general wave against the government and the loss of retired MPs from the citizens.
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