Mannum resident Kelly Gladigau to run for SA Best party in state election

Kelly Gladigau.

Kelly Gladigau.

Cowirra resident Kelly Gladigau made headlines over the weekend after announcing she would challenge current Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick in the 2018 state election.

On Saturday morning, Ms Gladigau was revealed as the Hammond candidate for Nick Xenophon’s SA Best party, after Mr Xenophon announced he would quit federal politics to focus on South Australian politics.

However, it was a Facebook post from 2013 that put her in the spotlight.

The post, which appeared on her joint Facebook account with her husband Travis, suggested Indigenous AFL player Adam Goodes looked like an ape.

Ms Gladigau said the post was written by Travis, who regretted his “poor choice of words”.

“It’s been blown out of proportion a bit… Travis feels sorry for what he wrote and it’s a poor portrayal of what I am,” she said.

“I work hard for the rights of Indigenous people and have a close working relationship with many of them.”

She said her husband would apologise to the public, and send an apologetic letter to Goodes.

On Sunday, Mr Xenophon said he would stick by Ms Gladigau.

The fourth-generation farmer and nurse at the Murray Bridge hospital said she hoped the post would not take away from the good she can do for her community.

“I believe it’s time for change and I’m a fearless and passionate advocate for my people,” she said.

“There is life beyond the tollgate and I will stand up for this region because we too often get forgotten.”

She said, if elected, she would focus on health, farming, and improving transparency and accountability in local government.

“We need upgrades on services at the Murray Bridge hospital… our services have been cut in the past and its been detrimental,” she said.

“I would like a wellbeing centre for rehabilitation and mental health services too.”

Ms Gladigau said there was big issue with local government in Hammond.

“There are ratepayer action groups being created, calling out for transparency and accountability,” she said.

Last week, Mobilong Prison worker Mat O’Brien announced he would contest the seat of Hammond for Labor.

Mr O’Brien ran for the seat of Barker during the 2016 federal election, claiming the third-most votes on that occasion, after Mr Pasin and the Nick Xenophon Team candidate.

Current MP Adrian Pederick will work to retain Hammond for the Liberal Party, aiming for his fourth term in Parliament.

"I work hard, I don't treat the seat as a so-called safe seat, and I've got a very good staff behind me; we work with a resolve to serve the community," he told ​The Standard in March.