Good Sharma wins battle
DAVE Sharma’s journey from migrant to ambassador for Australia convinced Liberals in Wentworth that he is the best candidate to represent their values.
The former Ambassador to Israel this week won the hotly contested battle to represent the Liberals at the Wentworth byelection with an impassioned speech about his values in a move which separated him from the result of the eight-strong field who focused on promoting their campaign strategy.
Using Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s strategy to win over voters through laying out his own values, Mr Sharma, 42, walked preselectors through his life story and how it impacted on him.
“He wasn’t an average kid, his mum died when he was young and that had a profound effect on him,” one source in the room said.
“He explained how he focused on doing well for himself to ensure he wasn’t an added burden on his father.”
The controversial pick came after Mr Morrison had lobbied for members in Wentworth to select a woman.
“What I said was I want to see more Liberal women in Parliament, but I also want to see the best candidate. Those two issues are not contradictory,” Mr Morrison said.
“Dave was the best candidate last night and as you’ll get to see, his record of service, his record of achievement, his high intellect and his ability to get the job done, I think will serve the people of Wentworth extremely well.”
The moderate faction had thrown its support behind former Woollahra deputy mayor Katherine O’Regan but she failed to make it through to the final round of voting with Mr Sharma facing off against Richard Shields.
Mr Morrison said he believed the byelection would be a “very tight” race but squashed suggestions that he would call a general election should Mr Sharma lose which would deny the government majority.
Mr Sharma currently lives outside the electorate but said he would move in soon.
He only moved back to Australia last year and he and his wife and three daughters had been living with his 90year-old father in Turramurra.
Mr Sharma was born in Canada and moved to Australia as a child. He renounced his Canadian citizenship earlier this year, before nominations for the preselection opened.
New Wentworth candidate for the Liberal Party, Dave Sharma.