Patrick Conaghan preselected to contest Cowper for The Nationals

Nats pick: Patrick Conaghan has won the preselection battle to represent The Nationals in the race for the federal seat of Cowper.

Nats pick: Patrick Conaghan has won the preselection battle to represent The Nationals in the race for the federal seat of Cowper.

Patrick Conaghan, a solicitor, has won the pre-selection race to represent The Nationals in Cowper.

The federal election is due in May 2019.

Mr Conaghan will be attempting to replace the retiring federal member Luke Hartsuyker who held the seat for the Nats for 17 years.

In a four-way tussle, Mr Conaghan beat three other candidates, Judy Plunkett, Jamie Harrison and Chris Genders.

Mr Conaghan praised his fellow candidates.

"Chris, Jamie and Judy were brilliant and were very strong candidates," he said. "Having three business people to step up and put everything on the line shows that the Nats are in good hands.

"This is both an honour and a very humbling experience to know that the membership (of The Nationals) has given me this vote of confidence."

Mr Conaghan said he savour the moment with his wife, Ilona before hitting the ground running.

He said his focus would be on being an inclusive member for everyone in Cowper.

However, he has some specific directions for the federal seat, if he wins the seat at the next election.

"I want to rejuvenate the interest of young people in politics and let them know that they are not left behind," he said.

"Coffs Harbour has a huge unemployment issue with young people and I'd like to concentrate on that area too.

"Port Macquarie's main issue is in aged care; Port Macquarie has the highest percentage of people over the age of 65 years in the Cowper electorate."

Mr Conaghan said, if elected, he would represent the entire electorate.

Andrew Woodward will contest the seat of Cowper for Labor and Dr Sally Townley is The Greens candidate.

Independent candidate at the 2016 election and former federal Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott is yet to confirm if he will contest the next election.

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