Nicholas Jones is a New Zealand Herald political reporter.

Murray McCully's replacement to contest East Coast Bays seat named

Erica Stanford will be contesting the safe National seat being vacated by replace Murray McCully in East Coast Bays in the 2017 general election.
Erica Stanford will be contesting the safe National seat being vacated by replace Murray McCully in East Coast Bays in the 2017 general election.

A staffer in East Coast Bays MP Murray McCully's local office has been selected to contest the seat at next year's election.

Erica Stanford works in a senior role in McCully's local electorate office and has worked overseas in export sales roles.

McCully has been MP for East Coast Bays since 1987 and in February announced he would not contest the seat next year, saying he would retire from Parliament when his time as foreign minister ended.

Stanford is highly likely to enter Parliament next year - the North Shore electorate is a safe National seat, with McCully holding an almost 17,000-strong majority over closest challenger Colin Craig in 2014.

Stanford said she was thrilled to be selected.

"Having been raised here, and now in turn raising my own kids here, I'm not exaggerating when I say I think it's the best place to live in Auckland.

"From watching Murray up close working for him, as one of his constituents, and seeing his work for New Zealand on the world stage, I know I have big shoes to fill."

Stanford grew up on the North Shore, attending Kristin School and Rangitoto College, and now lives with her husband Kane and young daughter and son in Okura.

She is chairwoman of the Browns Bay Business Association, and has previously produced a number of local television shows.

- NZ Herald

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