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Xenophon unlikely to feature in Sharkie's Mayo campaign

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Nick Xenophon is unlikely to play a starring role in Rebekha Sharkie’s bid to retain the South Australian seat of Mayo in an upcoming by-election.

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Sharkie won the seat originally as part of the Nick Xenophon Team, before he quit the Senate to make an ultimately unsuccessful tilt at South Australian state politics.

She said Xenophon was busy rebuilding his life – caring for elderly parents and restarting his legal practice.

“If Nick wants to come up and help he knows where my tiny little campaign office is,” Sharkie told reporters in Adelaide today.

“I think I’ve already asked enough of Nick over the years – I think it’s time for him to take care of himself.”

Sharkie, who was caught up in the dual-citizenship saga, is facing an uphill battle to retain her seat.

She’s up against a more cashed-up opponent with the Liberals recruiting Georgina Downer, whose father Alexander held the seat and was foreign minister in the Howard government.

“I’ve got a wealth of people power behind me, I don’t have the dollars,” Sharkie said.

Asked if she was concerned about the campaign getting dirty, Sharkie responded: “Politics is an ugly beast, but I will… hold my head up with integrity.”

Georgina Downer – whose father, former Liberal leader and Foreign Minister Alexander, held the seat for 24 years – was last night endorsed as the Liberal candidate, with InDaily told “two nominees withdrew their nominations based on matters of citizenship”.

– with AAP

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