Marriage equality advocate and former president of the Australian Medical Association Kerryn Phelps has officially announced that she will run for the seat of Wentworth at next month’s by-election.
Phelps is currently a City of Sydney councillor and was the AMA’s first LGBTI president.
Phelps quit Moore’s team after being informed she would only be supported to sit as Deputy Lord Mayor for a year.
The high-profile GP was a vocal marriage equality advocate for many years, with Phelps featuring in an Equality Campaign TV ad rebuttal to the No campaign last year.
Phelps and her wife Jackie Stricker-Phelps, who had previously legally married overseas, renewed their marriage vows following the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia at Emanuel Synagogue in Woollahra.
The couple were publicly outed by The Daily Telegraph in 1998.
Phelps said she was convinced to run for the seat held by Malcolm Turnbull for so many years after being contacted by locals following the leadership spill which saw Scott Morrison oust Turnbull, ABC News reported.
Observers feel Phelps could be a real threat to the Liberals’ 17.7 percent margin in the electorate given she has a medical practice in the area.
“I’ve had hundreds of people in Wentworth contact me in the past few weeks to express their anger and frustration over the sacking of Malcolm Turnbull,” Phelps said.
“The new Prime Minister Scott Morrison either cannot or will not explain why Malcolm Turnbull has been replaced.
“What we need to see is some integrity and some stability returned to the Australian Federal Parliament.”
Phelps will run against the Liberal Party’s preselected candidate Dave Sharma, Australia’s former ambassador to Israel, after Andrew Bragg – previously thought to be the frontrunner for candidacy – dropped out, as well as Labor candidate Tim Murray.
“The Yes campaign showed what happens when like-minded people come together in the interest of social justice,” Phelps said.
“The campaign for Wentworth will be a similar grassroots campaign by and for the people of Wentworth.”
Phelps has cited a focus on renewable energy to combat climate change and more humane treatment of asylum seekers as key to her platform.
Wentworth was notably one of the Liberal electorates which returned the highest margins in favour of marriage equality in last year’s postal survey, with 80.8 percent voting yes.
The Wentworth by-election will be held on October 20.