17 February 2023

Labor Monaro candidate Terry Campese withdraws from election race, cites media scrutiny

| Claire Fenwicke
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Former Canberra Raiders captain Terry Campese (second from left) with NSW Labor Leader Chris Minns and Labor Monaro Duty MLC Tara Moriarty in Queanbeyan when his candidacy was announced. Photo: Supplied.

Terry Campese has withdrawn as the Labor candidate for the seat of Monaro one month out from the NSW state election.

In a statement issued this morning (17 February), the high-profile candidate and former Canberra Raiders captain said he had never considered being a politician until he was approached late last year.

“Unfortunately I have also come to realise that, for some, politics is not about representing people but about their own power with a ‘win at all costs’ mentality,” Mr Campese said.

“Today I’m announcing that I will step down as Labor’s candidate. Not because my heart isn’t in it but because I love this community too much to drag it through the media – whether [allegations are] truthful or not.

“However, I will continue to serve my community in the same way I have over the last decade, through the work of my foundation and other charities.”

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Recent media reports from The Daily Telegraph have suggested Mr Campese visited friend and convicted drug dealer Adam Hunter – who was jailed over smuggling drugs inside an excavator to Bungendore – to raise funds for his charity and that party members had accused Labor of announcing him as the candidate before rank-and-file preselection had started.

He was also the subject of a complaint to the Labor head office over a sex-themed party he attended dressed as a ‘police officer’ in underwear.

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Mr Campese said he hoped things would change in the future and that more community members who put their hand up to be involved in politics.

“It’s clear we need a fresh start in NSW, and our communities do too,” he said.

“In the past couple of months, I have had great conversations with highly passionate people about a range of topics across the Monaro.

“I have also witnessed the incredible force of the Labor volunteers and members and I thank them for their time and support.”

Original Article published by Claire Fenwicke on Riotact.

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