Mayor won't rule out career in state, federal politics
LISMORE mayor Isaac Smith won't let the result of the Labor preselection for the seat of Page stop him from pursuing any potential role in Federal politics in the future.
It was announced on Sunday Casino man Patrick Deegan won the preselection contest against Cr Smith.
On the result Cr Smith said: "I'm obviously disappointed - you don't put your hand up to not be successful but I accept the decision and that's the way politics work."
"The only reason I got in involved in politics 13 years ago was to make a difference and I believe I have been doing that on council for 10 years now and as the mayor...this is just one of the opportunities that came up that I wanted to be involved in.
"I had the opportunity to put my hand up but I wasn't successful this time.
"I'm lucky I love my day job."
He said a career beyond local politics is something he may consider in the future.
"It's never something you want to rule out but it's not something that I think I'll be pursuing in 20 years time so now is my opportunity and if it comes up again in a couple of years I might give it a go."
Mr Deegan was elated to learn he had won Labor pre-selection for the seat of Page and will be taking on Kevin Hogan at the next federal election.
He thanked Isaac Smith for his effort in the preselection campaign.
"Isaac was a strong candidate and I thank him for running a competitive campaign."
Mr Deegan's win is the first time a Casino resident has represented the Page electorate.
"I am very excited and looking forward to the challenge of standing up for the people of Page during the election campaign," he said.
"My campaign will be based on standing up for the working people, the people the National Party ignores."
Mr Deegan said he believed he could also give Casino more attention that the town deserved.
"Casino is one part of the electorate too often ignored and taken for granted," he said.
"It's is a family town with a high percentage of pensioners and has high needs for health, education, jobs and social services.
"I want to stand up for those people impacted by cuts to penalty rates and who want proper funding for health, education and agriculture in our region."