Out of race: Tania Murdock.
Out of race: Tania Murdock.

Murdock pulls out of election

THE Nationals need a new candidate for the Federal seat of Richmond after Tania Murdock withdrew from the running yesterday.

Mrs Murdock said personal attacks had forced the campaign into unwanted territory.

“I’m going to give myself time to consider my options as I’m still interested in the industry,” Mrs Murdock said yesterday.

“A few things came up recently and the focus on personal issues rather than the campaign by a handful of people has made things difficult.

“(Liberal candidate) Joan van Lieshout made accusations of a personal nature that were inaccurate and I had difficulty dealing with that.”

Mrs van Lieshout could not be contacted last night.

Mrs Murdock said she was also shocked on a number of occasions when she was abused by people on the street in front of her children.

But the Pottsville resident and business owner said personal attacks were not the sole reason for withdrawing.

“The other thing was a few people seemed to be running their own agendas and not working as a team,” she said.

Mrs Murdock said the personal sacrifice she had made in the public eye was not worth the fight.

“It is such a shame because I was genuine and in this election for the right reasons,” she said.

She said she would not comment on whether she would return to politics in the future.

“By standing down now I hope to give the Nationals enough time to find a suitable replacement for the election.

“I certainly would urge the Nationals to stand united behind their selected candidate to ensure the entire focus is maintained on the Rudd Government’s reckless incompetence.”

Mrs Murdock’s former campaign manager Murray Lees said the Richmond Electoral Council would meet this afternoon in light of the withdrawal.

“We will have to open pre-selection again,” Mr Lees said.

“We would hope to have a replacement within a month, because who knows when the election will be.

Mr Lees said he was disappointed, but supported Mrs Murdock’s decision.

“The pressure was getting to her and I don’t think she was expecting the dirty politics,” he said.

Mr Lees said he would volunteer to stay on as campaign manager for the next candidate, but it would be up to others to decide.

Mrs Murdock was chosen to represent the Nationals in December last year.

She made headlines late last year when it was revealed in court she had accumulated 26, mostly speeding-related, traffic offences in Queensland between 1988 and 2008.

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