Todd Muller selected for Bay of Plenty electorate

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WINNER: Todd Muller with his wife, Michelle, after he was announced as the National Candidate for the Bay of Plenty. Photo/Ruth Keber.
WINNER: Todd Muller with his wife, Michelle, after he was announced as the National Candidate for the Bay of Plenty. Photo/Ruth Keber.

A new National Party candidate has been selected for the Bay of Plenty electorate.

Todd Muller has been announced as Tony Ryall's successor as the National Party candidate for the Bay of Plenty.

The decision was made this evening at an event in Mount Maunganui.

First-term Tauranga City councillor Steve Morris went up against the Fonterra executive in what was described as a close race.

At last night's event Mr Muller and Mr Morris both gave speeches in front of voting delegates, observers and friends and family.

They were also tasked with answering two questions each, one from the Prime Minister, the other from the National Party President, but neither men was at last night's event.

After which, 101 voting delegates cast their vote and selected Mr Muller as the new candidate.

Last night's event was hosted by Peter Osborne, regional chair of the Central North Island National Party.

National Party Bay of Plenty electorate chair Mark Bayly said Mr Muller and Mr Morris were two "exceptionally good candidates".

"It's been a strong contest," he said.

"Each have got their differences in terms of where they've got unique skill sets and they have both played a skilled and clean race.

"It has been a very robust process."

It is thought that Mr Muller is virtually assured of a seat in Parliament because of the 18,000 vote majority built up by Mr Ryall, 49, who is retiring from politics to take employment in the private sector.

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