A clinical nurse specialist and mum-of-four has been chosen as former Attorney-General Christian Porter’s replacement to run for the Perth-based seat of Pearce at the federal election.
The West Australian Liberal Party on Monday night preselected Linda Aitkento be the preferred candidate in what had been a contest between two women.
The result of the grassroots plebiscite vote will be ratified on Thursday.
The other nominee was former navy officer Miquela Riley.
Ms Aitken is a mother-of-four and a grandmother-of-two who works as a clinical nurse specialist and has been a councillor with the City of Wanneroo for eight years.
She has previously run as a Liberal candidate in past state elections and lost.
WA Liberal Party State President Richard Wilson said the first plebiscite preselection – under the new reformed model to allow for more local participation – had gone well.
“Linda Aitken is clearly the best person to represent Pearce in the national parliament,” he said.
“The electorate of Pearce is a great place to live, work, and raise a family but the community of Pearce need an effective and constructive representative who will stand up for the residents to get things done.
“Linda has been married to her husband Vince for 43 years – she’s called the northern suburbs home for the last four decades. Together they have owned and operated a small electrical contracting company and have four wonderful children and two delightful grandchildren.”
Labor has preselected Wanneroo mayor Tracey Roberts as their candidate for the seat which was won by Mr Porter on a margin of 7.5 per cent at the 2019 election.
Mr Porter, who announced his resignation at the start of the month following a tumultuous year, had held the seat for nearly 10 years.
He came forward in March to reveal he was the government minister accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 1988, always strenuously denying the allegation.
The woman who alleged that she was raped died by suicide in 2020 and then her statement was sent anonymously to the Prime Minister and several other ministers.
Mr Porter confirmed he met the woman in Sydney when he was 17 but has always denied having any sexual contact with her.
He took leave from his role as Attorney-General for mental health reasons before it was revealed in September that an anonymous donor was paying his legal fees in his defamation action against the ABC.
Mr Porter then resigned from the ministry amid calls for him to reveal the identities of the donors.
West Australian Labor Premier Mark McGowan is incredibly popular in the state and some hope he could increase Labor’s chance of taking the seat, which has been held by the Liberals for 33 years, following his landslide state election.