The federal Liberal Party has preselected local gay professional Sean O’Connor as the candidate for the safe Labor seat of Sydney at the 2013 election.

Federal Health Minister Tanya Plibersek currently holds the seat and took 43.2 percent of the primary vote at the 2010 election.

The seat is considered safe, with Plibersek getting 69.3 percent of the two party preferred vote after Greens preferences were distributed. The former Liberal candidate, Gorden Weiss, received 28.1 percent of the primary vote in 2010.

O’Connor works as a marketing manager for Chevron subsidiary Caltex and has lived in the electorate for eight years. He currently resides in Darlinghurst with his partner and is a long time supporter of same-sex marriage.

“I am a supporter of marriage equality and it’s a value I would be taking with me into federal parliament if I was elected and would us my position to advocate for marriage equality,” O’Connor said.

He ran in the third spot on the Liberal ticket at the local government elections for Sydney Council earlier this year behind newly elected councillors Edward Mandla and Tony Abbott’s openly gay sister, Christine Forster.

“Running for council was a fantastic opportunity for me, not only meeting people from Sydney but also the community groups and their passion for improving the position of people in the electorate,” he said.

“This was part of the drive for me to seek endorsement for the Liberal nomination for Sydney.

O’Connor said he was particularly worried by the Gillard government’s Carbon Tax and the impact it would have on small business.

“My main concern is cost of living and the impact it would have on the electorate of Sydney,” he said.

“The Carbon Tax will ultimately increase the costs to business and that will of course impact those business and in some cases make it untenable for them to operate which would then put them out of business and their employees out of jobs.”

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