Diaz family to take on Conolly

THE Diaz family is taking another tilt at political glory by attempting to unseat state member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly.

With two failed attempts to enter federal parliament under the belt of son Jaymes, patriarch and Blacktown councillor Jess will try to join the "big boys and girls" in state parliament.

Mr Diaz senior has thrown his hat into the preselection ring for the state seat of Riverstone — to the astonishment of incumbent Kevin Conolly.

"I have nominated and intend to win the seat of Riverstone," Mr Conolly maintained on Friday.

This may well be his first term as the state member for Riverstone, but he won the seat more than convincingly.

"I won with a swing of 30 per cent from the Labor party . . . the largest swing that a Liberal candidate — state or federal — has achieved anywhere in the country ever," Mr Conolly said.

This also put him in the position of being the first Liberal MP to hold the Blacktown-based seat.

"Clearly the voters in 2011 thought I was worth supporting and I'm doing everything possible to make sure I don't let them down," Mr Conolly said.

"I feel particularly proud of my role in securing the three new schools for The Ponds and the major upgrade of Blacktown Hospital, which is in fact twice as large a project as we promised before the election.

"We promised $125 million and are delivering just over $300 million."

News of this political dual comes only months after media-shy Jaymes Diaz made national headlines over his disastrous tilt at the federal seat of Greenway, which Mr Connolly helped him contest twice, albeit unsuccessfully.

While this of itself may be a reason to feel gutted over Mr Diaz senior's latest decision, Mr Conolly is preferring to stay mum on the topic — and let his record speak.

■ What do you think? Your voice: blacktownsun.com.au.

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