Independent candidate for Clarence Richie Williamson opens his new campaign office in Grafton.
Independent candidate for Clarence Richie Williamson opens his new campaign office in Grafton. ADAM HOURIGAN

Richie's open for business

THE election campaign of independent candidate for Clarence Richie Williamson officially kicked-off in the Clarence Valley yesterday with the opening of his Grafton campaign office.

Mr Williamson said the office, located in the old Black Toyota Building in Prince St, would function as a “one-stop-shop” for anyone seeking more information about his campaign or those interested in volunteering to help out during his tilt at winning the seat.

“It feels good that we’re at this point in the campaign; there has been a hell of a lot of work done to get to this point and my team has been working quietly in the background for many months to get us to this point,” Mr Williamson said.

“We feel that the campaign has been effective, we feel that we are a viable alternative to the major parties and I am absolutely confident that we can achieve great things for the people of the Clarence electorate.”

Mr Williamson said as an independent his campaign faced a number of challenges, including not having the financial support or publicity resources of a major party behind him. However, he said this was a situation not without its perks.

“Whilst there is no party machine behind me, that can be a huge advantage because we are here genuinely to represent the views of the people, not the views of a party. Those views can often collide and it is always the party’s view that wins,” he said.

Mr Williamson said another challenge his campaign faced was having the volunteer numbers to have a presence at polling booths around the electorate on the day.

“One of the goals is to have every polling booth covered for at least a period of time on election day – it’s fair to say we’re not there yet, we have some polling booths that aren’t covered, but we think opening the office here today is a real opportunity for people who are willing to lend me a hand, to come in and register and be a part of the independent push for Clarence.”

NSW residents will go to the polls on Saturday, March 26.

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