FORMER Herald editor Brian Mitchell will run for Labor in the knife-edge Tasmanian seat of Lyons at the next federal election. He is the first candidate in Australia to achieve Labor endorsement for the 2016 poll.
He’s taking on Liberal Eric Hutchinson, who won the sprawling rural seat in 2013 on the back of a 13.5 per cent swing against Labor veteran Dick Adams.
The margin is a razor-thin 1.2 per cent.
Mitchell and Adams had been set to face-off in a preselection contest but Adams withdrew, leaving Mitchell, a member of Tasmania’s powerful Left faction, unopposed.
“Brain” as he’s known at the Chook, joined the Herald in 1989 as a cadet and—after leaving and returning and spending 10 years as editor—moved to Tasmania in 2007, where he became a senior adviser to former Labor minister Duncan Kerr.
Now a media consultant he was sucked back into the Herald vortex a few years ago—he calls it “the Herald Hotel California effect”—and sub-edits the paper via the internet. Given his candidacy we’ve kicked him off political stories.
If elected, Mitchell will join a gaggle of ex-journos in federal parliament including Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Sarah Henderson (all Liberals).
by STEVE GRANT