‘No interest’: Hartwig rejects Jerome Katter Party claims
GYMPIE Mayor Glen Hartwig has refuted claims by federal, state and council election candidate Tim Jerome he is still a member of the Katter Party and eyeing a tilt at a state seat.
In a letter to The Gympie Times Mr Jerome accused Mr Hartwig of not telling the public “becoming councillor and then muscling his way to become Mayor are only stepping stones for the big prize of being Member of Parliament”.
Mr Jerome said Mr Hartwig was not being forthright when he denied being a member of a political party at the March mayoral debate.
Both Mr Hartwig and Katter Party co-ordinator Shane Paulger yesterday refuted Mr Jerome’s claims.
Mr Paulger said Mr Hartwig had not been a member of the Katter Party for years, a fact he regretted.
“I wish there were a lot more politicians like him,” Mr Paulger said.
He said it was “a shame” the claims had been made by Mr Jerome, who the party had denied membership due to concerns over some of his posts on social media.
Mr Hartwig said state representation was not on his to-do list.
“I’ve got no interest at all in running for the seat,” Mr Hartwig said.
“It doesn’t appeal to me, and I have a good working relationship with (Gympie MP) Tony Perrett.”
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Mr Jerome said during his own discussions with Mr Paulger about standing for the party before the election, “I was told in no uncertain terms that Mr Hartwig will be the candidate for the Katter Party at a later stage and this was always the plan”.
“So not only is Mr Hartwig a member of a political party he was also going to be its candidate,” Mr Jerome said.
“I state again that people have a right to know what a person’s political aspirations were and are.”
He questioned if people would have voted for Mr Hartwig if he had told them “of his political aspirations and his political backing”.
Mr Hartwig’s Katter Party membership was listed on his register of interests after he was first elected as a councillor in 2016.
It was marked for removal from the document one week before the March mayoral debate.
His current register of interests does not list any political party membership.