Monday 24 October 2016

Fine Gael considering Harte Jnr for election run

Greg Harkin

Published 09/01/2016 | 02:30

Leinster House. Photo: Tom Burke
Leinster House. Photo: Tom Burke

Fine Gael is considering throwing Paddy Harte Jnr into the Donegal election race.

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His father Paddy served in the Dáil from 1961 until 1997.

The Irish Independent has learned that private polling by Fine Gael in the constituency has Harte Jnr sitting on 9pc of first preference votes if he is chosen to run alongside sitting TD Joe McHugh.

But Mr Harte says he hasn't been formally offered a nomination.

"I've spoken to Fine Gael three or four times since September but, to be honest, I haven't formally been offered anything," he told the Irish Independent.

"I'm told there might be a meeting this weekend about it, but I haven't been offered anything at this stage. If that were to happen, I'd have to think seriously about it."

However, the lecturer and charity worker said he had not sought to run.

"It's not something I have gone after, as such," he said.

"There is a part of me who would want to do something for my part of the world and if I thought I could do that, then I would consider it."

Private polling among the parties has questioned if Junior Gaeltacht Minister Mr McHugh can retain his seat in the new five-seat constituency, with one party source saying: "He will need transfers, loads of them."

Irish Independent

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