Fitzsimon’s desire to stand for Labor backed by a lifetime living in Orange

RALLYING TO THE CAUSE: Orange Country Labor president Gavin Hillier (fourth from the right) and the Central West Community Union Alliance's Bernard Fitzsimon (far right) ahead of the Mayday rally last year with James Patrech, Shane Brinkworth, Darren Gormly, Neil Hughes, Ian Lawless, RebelLindsay-Egan, Adam Webster, Joe Marric and Alan Haynes. Mr Fitzsimon will nominate for Labor pre-selection for the seat of Orange. Photo: JUDE KEOGH. 0321mayday1

RALLYING TO THE CAUSE: Orange Country Labor president Gavin Hillier (fourth from the right) and the Central West Community Union Alliance's Bernard Fitzsimon (far right) ahead of the Mayday rally last year with James Patrech, Shane Brinkworth, Darren Gormly, Neil Hughes, Ian Lawless, RebelLindsay-Egan, Adam Webster, Joe Marric and Alan Haynes. Mr Fitzsimon will nominate for Labor pre-selection for the seat of Orange. Photo: JUDE KEOGH. 0321mayday1

ORANGE Country Labor has its first nominee to vie for the seat of Orange at the March state election, with Bernard Fitzsimon to put his hand up.

Mr Fitzsimon, 60, has been a key member of the Central West Community Union Alliance and a delegate for the Public Service Association, speaking out on the number of paramedics in Orange through to job security in health and agriculture.

But the father of five also said he brought 50 years of living in Orange to the table.

“I live and breathe the same air,” he said.

“I think that people in this electorate are suffering and it’s time to inject some front back into the equation.” 

After former candidate Tim Sullivan expressed the need for a candidate to stand for multiple elections to make inroads in the safe Nationals seat, Mr Fitzsimon said he was up to the task.

“But I would say that they [former candidates quoted in the Central Western Daily on Monday] all ran in a very different scenario and the circumstances are turning against the Coalition in some areas,” he said.

“It’s a tough gig, but it’s not a suicide mission.”

However, Mr Fitzsimon’s expression of interest has come early in the process, with Labor’s head office yet to officially call for nominations.

If more than one nomination is submitted, a pre-selection will be required before Nationals incumbent Andrew Gee’s opponent is confirmed.

The Orange branch held a meeting on Monday night to discuss possible candidates and president Gavin Hillier believed the Parkes branch could also nominate a candidate for pre-selection.

“It shows there’s interest [in the seat] from a Labor point of view - we know there’s work to do in the seat of Orange, but we need to uphold the Labor legacy,” he said.

“We need to make it a marginal seat to show Macquarie Street that we are not to be taken for granted.”

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