Sparky puts zap in contest

27 Oct 2018 Border Mail, Albury-Wodonga (General News) by Anthony Bunn SIDELINED Benalla mayor Don Firth believes hes better than a 10/1 shot of winning the seat of Euroa. The independent candidate has taken leave from the council to the contest the Victorian poll against Nationals incumbent Steph Ryan. I talked to one local bookie that put me at a million/1, I thought I was a 10/1 chance at the start and I do believe those odds are shortening, Mr Firth said. Thats based on the support not only in Benalla, but further afield. Mr Firth, who will formally end his mayoralty when a vote for a new leader is held on November 14, is campaigning under the slogan Make Us Matter. He says that reflects his belief that Euroa is ignored by major parties because it is a safe seat. The electrical contractor was inspired by independent MPs Cathy McGowan (Indi MHR) and Suzanna Sheed (Shepparton MLA). I think Im part of an independent movement and really happy to be part of it, Mr Firth said. He talked of running to Ms McGowan four months ago. She said go for it,' Mr Firth said. When he became mayor he had no goal to be an MP. You then experience politicians both state and federal, either in opposition or government, and I could see what the good ones can do and what the ordinary ones dont do, Mr Firth said. He nominates transport, education and health as concerns and supports the Border Rail Action Groups train plan. If we get an hourly shuttle service, between Albury and Seymour to connect with metro services, I think that will suffice for the time being given weve been ignored for 100 years, Mr Firth said. The married father of two wants to see the final field before deciding preferences, but admits Labor will be ahead of the Nationals. It would be pretty silly giving them to my major opposition and that would be purely on what Jaclyn Symes has done, Mr Firth said of the Labor Upper House MP who was raised in Benalla. Shes the hardest working politician Ive seen.