A couple of old foes are acting as if they are in a new “bromance”.
State Member for Dubbo Troy Grant and Country Labor candidate for Dubbo Regional Council Stephen Lawrence have been praising each other.
Mr Lawrence, a barrister, challenged Mr Grant, a former police inspector, at the 2015 state election.
Mr Grant was returned to the seat he had held since 2011.
This week on Radio 2DU, Mr Grant offered an unexpected endorsement when asked to weigh in on next month’s council election.
“I want people to be aware that there are people standing who are members of a political party who they would automatically think that I don’t think would be a good councillor,” Mr Grant said.
“So I will just cite one example. Stephen Lawrence, was my opponent at the 2015 election.
“He is a Labor member. He’s declared it.
“I think he would be an outstanding councillor. I have no opposition to him being on there and I could work very well with Stephen.”
Mr Lawrence, who is standing in a Country Labor team for the council’s east ward, immediately issued a statement in which he referred to Mr Grant’s “political integrity and leadership”.
“I sincerely thank Mr. Grant for his words of support,” Mr Lawrence said.
“They are honest words and I appreciate them.
“I was his opponent in the hard-fought last state election campaign and people probably remember that we went head-to-head on a number of issues.
“But one thing impressed me throughout about Troy. He doesn’t try to pretend that complex issues are simple, he sets about trying to communicate complex truths.
“That to me is a real marker of political integrity and leadership and I want to acknowledge it despite our differences”.
Mr Grant’s support of Mr Lawrence’s candidacy led the wannabe councillor to make a commitment to “working with all sides of politics if elected”.
“I am a passionate Country Labor member,” Mr Lawrence said.
“But community comes first. Dubbo comes first.
“That means working cooperatively with whoever is in power at the state and federal levels.
“Politics is politics, but at some point you put it aside and just do the best thing for the community.
“I am confident Troy Grant, Mark Coulton MP and I can work together if I am elected to council and I look forward to it.”
Mr Lawrence is among 28 candidates standing for election to Dubbo Regional Council. NSW local government elections are scheduled for September 9.