MEMBER for Barker Tony Pasin has won the preselection campaign over challenger Katherine McBride.
Liberal voters gathered in Murray Bridge on Saturday to select who they wanted to stand for the electorate in the next Federal election.
This was the first time Mr Pasin has been challenged by another member since he was first elected in 2013.
Voters supported Mr Pasin, voting 284 to 58 over Ms McBride who is also the wife of Member for MacKillop Nick McBride.
Leading up to the preselection, Mr Pasin produced campaign material which was supported by a range of Barker electorate community members.
He also produced a letter of support from previous Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton.
In his letter, Mr Abbott said Mr Pasin was “one of the best men you would ever meet” and called him a “fine local member” as well as a “rare asset to the Coalition party room in Canberra”.
“Tony is entirely straight…he says what he means and he does what he says,” the letter read.
“While Tony strives to see the good in everyone and takes people as he finds then, he is also someone with strong principles and values that he is ready to express in a decent and humane way.
“He is faithful to the “We Believe” statement and exactly the kind of person to represent the party of Menzies and Howard.”
In his letter, Mr Abbott also said should the Abbot ministry lasted longer, Mr Pasin would “certainly have been a part of it”.
Mr Dutton also wrote in support for Mr Pasin stating he had enjoyed having Mr Pasin as a “very sensible and significant contributor” to party room discussions.
“Tony is self-motivated and has had significant and impressive contact with his portfolio stakeholders and is highly respected by his colleagues in the executive,” the letter read.
“He is an invaluable member of my team and has the talent and determination to be promoted to higher levels of the Shadow Ministry in the future.”
Speaking on securing the preselection position, Mr Pasin said he was humbled and honoured to be the Liberal candidate for the next election.
“Our party is strengthened by our commitment to democratic processes at all levels,” Mr Pasin said.
“Today this tradition had continued and the Liberal Party members in Barker were asked to select the candidate best equipped to represent our party as we seek to hold the seat of Barker at the Federal election.”
He said since being elected for the first time in 2013, he remained committed to the service of the electorate and was proud of what he and his team had achieved in partnership with members of the party and the broader community.
“This success was reflected in the trust and support shown by the electoral college,” he said.
“I look forward to continuing to be a part of a Coalition team that proves themselves to be a trustworthy alternative Government for the next Federal election.”
Liberal Party vice president Ella Winnall also congratulated Mr Pasin on his success stating he was a hardworking Liberal Member of Parliament.
“Liberal Party members have endorsed him to continue this hard work in the future,” Ms Winnall said.
“The Barker community is well served by Tony’s advocacy and passion for regional South Australia.
“He also serves as the Shadow Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, part of Peter Dutton’s team that is holding the Labor Government to account and developing the Liberal Party’s positive plans to take to the next Federal Election.”
As part of Mr Pasin’s preselection campaign material, testimonials were received from Barker electorate members including Nicole Flint, Ashton Hurn, Nicola Centofanti, Rex Hall, Darren Turner and Mayor of Mount Gambier Lynette Martin.