SA Best candidates for Frome and Giles asked for $20,000 pledge

POLITICAL: Retailer and former Whyalla deputy mayor Tom Antonio could be a force at the ballot box in the seat of Giles, but has not indicated whether he will stand for a political party or as an Independent. The seat is expected to be contested by SA Best. The party is asking candidates for $20,000 campaign contributions.

POLITICAL: Retailer and former Whyalla deputy mayor Tom Antonio could be a force at the ballot box in the seat of Giles, but has not indicated whether he will stand for a political party or as an Independent. The seat is expected to be contested by SA Best. The party is asking candidates for $20,000 campaign contributions.

Potential candidates for the seats of Frome and Giles are being asked for $20,000 pledges if they are chosen to seek office for Senator Nick Xenophon’s party.

TARGET: Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock has been targeted by Senator Nick Xenophon's political party.

TARGET: Independent Frome MP Geoff Brock has been targeted by Senator Nick Xenophon's political party.

A spokesman for SA Best confirmed on Wednesday that the amount was considered to be a “campaign contribution”.

The requirement has been described by one rival party as a disincentive for people to stand for office for the South Australian senator’s team.

SA Best campaign manager Shane Coglan said the contribution was “something that all candidates are providing, including Nick”.

Asked whether it was a case of candidates “putting their money where their mouth was”, Mr Coglan replied: “Yes, that is right. We want candidates to have skin in the game. We are looking for people to make a big impact.”

He said the party’s recent arrival on the political scene meant that it needed to raise money for campaigning.

“So we are requiring candidates to put up some money as well, otherwise we just could not compete,” he said.

The party is still talking to “several contenders” for the seats of Frome, located around Port Pirie, and Whyalla-based Giles.

It said a “few extra” potential candidates were interested in Frome, held by Independent Geoff Brock.

Mr Coglan said expressions of interest were open for the seat and the team was “going through applications”.

If SA Best is represented at the local ballot box, it would create a scenario of two Independents seeking votes and possibly cancelling each other out.

High-profile Senator Xenophon will contest the seat of Hartley in the Lower House, raising the possibility that he could hold the balance-of-power.

Mr Brock and a possible Independent in the seat of Giles, touted as retailer and former Whyalla deputy mayor Tom Antonio, could also be king-makers.

Frome has been held by Mr Brock since 2009 while Giles is represented by Labor’s Eddie Hughes.