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Ex-mayor to contest Vic election in teal

A former mayor will contest the Victorian election as a “teal” independent candidate for a marginal Liberal-held seat in Melbourne’s southeast.

Bayside City councillor Clarke Martin will run in Sandringham after winning the endorsement of residents group Make Bayside Better for the November poll.

The seat is held by Liberal Brad Rowswell on a margin of 0.65 per cent, or just over 500 votes.

It sits within the federal electorate of Goldstein, won by independent candidate and former ABC journalist Zoe Daniel as part of a teal wave at the federal election in May.

Mr Martin ran as an independent in Sandringham in the 2014 and 2018 state elections, receiving a primary vote of 10.28 and 8.45 per cent respectively.

The former Bayside mayor began his career in the Navy, worked as a commercial diver and went on to become a health and safety consultant.

Education, responsible development, integrity and the environment are listed by Make Bayside Better as its key concerns.

It comes after lawyer, journalist and ex-Labor party member Nomi Kaltmann was unveiled as Voices of Caulfield’s independent candidate last week.

Frankston Hospital doctor Kate Lardner (Mornington), small business owner Sarah Fenton (Bellarine) and Jacqui Hawkins (Benambra) – a former staffer to Indi MP Cathy McGowan – have also recently announced their independent candidacies.

Independent groups in the Melbourne seats of Hawthorn and Kew within the federal electorate of Kooyong, won by teal independent Monique Ryan in May, are expected to announce their candidates in coming days.

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