Maria Kovacic, the former state president of Liberty Party, wins the party’s preselection for a Senate seat. Preselection was held to fill the vacancy left by Senator Jim Molan, Who passed away recently. Kovacic wins with a vote of 287-243, beyond the expectations of many party members.
Kovacic’s victory is a major shift within the NSW Moderates faction. Kovacic secured more votes than her competitor, former NSW treasurer, and transport minister Andrew Constance. Despite Constance receiving acceptance from Gladys Berejiklian, former foreign minister Marise Payne, and Stuart Ayres, Kovacic gets support from Liberal senator Andrew Bragg and the unofficial Liberal women’s wing, Hilma’s Network.
Several other candidates also participate in preselection, including former Lindsay MP Fiona Scott, Shepherd Centre executive David Brady, Lowy Institute researcher Jess Collins, and Space Industry Association of Australia CEO and former army officer James Brown.
Kovacic resigned from her position as an NSW liberal president in order to get a nomination for the Senate seat. She gives a speech to party members and highlights her Croatian heritage and her parent’s escape from communism in Europe. Kovacic speech highlights the importance of children’s education, child care, home ownership, and economic management.
On her victory, Kovacic felt emotional, expressed gratitude, and acknowledged the influence of her migrant background on her values and determination. She also mentioned following the footsteps of Jim Molan, a former senior member of the Australian Army, to honor him.