Jaimie Abbott may stand again

NOT GIVING UP: Jaimie Abbott quit her job to take on Labor’s Sharon Claydon.AFTER months of campaigning that ended without a win, two of the Hunter’s Liberal candidates aren’t ruling out another crack at their target seats – but a holiday is the first priority.

Newcastle candidate Jaimie Abbott quit her job with the air force to take on Labor’s Sharon Claydon.

“I have to say I’m feeling pretty positive,” Ms Abbott said yesterday, while preparing to collect her hundreds of campaign posters fanning the electorate.

“There’s nothing I’d do differently, we gave it everything we could, so I’m not sitting here thinking, ‘If I’d just done that’.”

Despite denting Labor’s margin by 3 per cent, with counting continuing, in the seat it has held since federation, Ms Abbott said she wasn’t able to convert rusted-on Labor supporters.

“There were a number of people who said to me, ‘Jaimie, I like you, I think you’re a good candidate, but I can’t bring myself not to vote Labor’.

“What more can you do? That’s a really hard culture to break down.”

Despite that, Ms Abbott said neither she nor the Liberal Party were writing off the seat.

“There’s definitely been no harm to my future,” she said.

“I wouldn’t rule anything out.”

Ms Abbott, 31, is planning a holiday, but said she had had a number of job offers and interest in her media training business.

John Church, who stood for the Liberals in Shortland, was back at work at his advertising agency yesterday, but took a call from Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos congratulating him on the result.

“I’m disappointed obviously but we’re feeling pleased with the swing [of nearly 6 per cent],” Mr Church said.

Whether he stands again “rests with my wife and the Liberal Party”.

“I called it a great adventure going into this. It was wonderful to get engaged with the community.”

Candidate for Charlton Kevin Baker couldn’t be reached yesterday.

Despite being disendorsed by the Liberal Party two weeks ago over comments on a website, Mr Baker, whose name stayed on the ballot paper, picked up 27 per cent of primary votes.

He had had a swing of nearly 3 per cent despite abandoning the campaign.

Nationals candidate for Hunter Michael Johnsen remains the Upper Hunter mayor, and said he had not yet considered another campaign after being unable to unseat Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon.

Labor’s candidate for Paterson, retired school teacher Bay Marshall, said he did not plan to run again.

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