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Lawyer Peter Russo to run in Sunnybank for Labor

Peter Russo with Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, candidate for Stafford Anthony Lynham and Albert candidate Melissa McMahon.

Peter Russo with Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, candidate for Stafford Anthony Lynham and Albert candidate Melissa McMahon. Photo: Amy Remeikis

He stood and spoke on behalf of client Scott Driscoll as the former MP made a last ditch plea for mercy.

Now lawyer Peter Russo will stand against LNP MP Mark Stewart in the seat of Sunnybank.

Mr Russo, who has also defended Gold Coast doctor Mohamed Haneef and former federal Speaker Peter Slipper, said it was the "attacks on the judiciary" and the "lack of understanding of the separation of powers, the attacks on lawyers themselves" which prompted his foray into politics.

"I just think it was important that I had the opportunity to stand and I hope I can make a real difference," he said.

"...The end game is to win Sunnybank for Labor. It won't be easy, but I'm sure I've got the energy and the stamina to bring it up [to the government].

"I will never leave the law behind. It's always going to be a part of me and it's what got me here today."

He said his firm would continue to represent the Driscolls.

"Our job as defence lawyers is to represent people, not to judge them," he said.

Mr Russo is one of 40 candidates Labor has preselected so far as the party prepares to take on the "LNP army" in the next election.

Nurse Joe Kelly won preselection for Greenslopes, considered one of the most winnable Brisbane seats for Labor.

And police officer and mother-of-two Melissa McMahon will represent Labor in Albert.

Former MP Grace Grace won the preselection battle for Brisbane Central by overwhelmingly winning the popular vote and former minister Stirling Hinchliffe will contest Sandgate* at the next election.

Mark Furner, whose term as a senator finishes this year, will run in Ferny Grove after the factions pulled off a deal.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk was unapologetic about the candidate selection process.

"Mark Furner faced a rank and file preselection just like everybody else," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Mark Furner has experience and, as I said, I need experience on my team.

"What we have said here today is that we are serious about modernising the Labor party.

"I have put all my energy and drive behind this to make sure we get the right mix of people."

Labor is yet to announce a candidate for Premier Campbell Newman's seat of Ashgrove.

Ms Palaszczuk said she was in talks with former MP Kate Jones, but nothing had been set in stone.

*Correction: Stirling Hinchliffe will contest Sandgate, not Stafford.

35 comments so far

  • But where is Campbell Newman going to run , he will get belted in Ashgrove , I know he will be parachuted into Moggill or some other winnable seat and the good old ALP - really Grace Grace - sorry just not up to the job

    Commenter
    John
    Location
    Wynnum
    Date and time
    April 15, 2014, 12:21PM
    • Newman is so disliked within the LNP that no one will stand aside for him. The people of Queensland have also woken up to him so it does not matter where he stands he will lose.

      Commenter
      Peter Stanton
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 1:29PM
    • Grace Grace is well respected in the community. She has lived in the electorate all her life and understands that community. She is down to earth and no nonsense. She represented her community well over a number of years. She certainly is up to the job, and here's hoping that she is re-elected.

      Commenter
      Jarrod Bilton
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 1:41PM
    • OK Jarrod , I'll stand corrected if she gets back , I understand she has a lot work to do losing Brisbane Central was not very good form

      Commenter
      John
      Location
      Wynnum
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 1:55PM
    • He's declared he's running for Ashgrove. Tens of thousands of people who were sacked for no reason will be happy to see him go, if he does.

      But not sure that "Premier Seeney" would be any better - it might be like swapping some comic book villain with a chip on his shoulder, for another comic book villain who's cold and calculating instead. Not much of a choice.

      Commenter
      asdsdf
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 2:02PM
    • Campbell Newman will win Ashgrove again, in a canter, contrary to the apoplectic protestations of the loopy left, again.

      Commenter
      Me
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 2:29PM
    • No he won't. Newman has had it. They had to move the office across the road just to get away from the stench.

      Commenter
      Drewbitz
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 3:22PM
    • He said he's running for Ashgrove again. On a margin of just over 5% he has no hope of retaining the seat even if there is only half the swing indicated in the latest polls. That means Newman will not be Premier regardless of who wins the election. The LNP needs to tell us who would be Premier if it retains government - Seeney, Nicholls, Langbroek or Springborg?

      Commenter
      Mike
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 4:37PM
  • I like Russo's line "Our job as defence lawyers is to represent people, not to judge them," It has been fairly horrifying watching this govts attacks on the judicial system. Newman and Bleijie seem to want to be judge and jury not just on certain people before the courts but the lawyers who's duty it is to defend them as well.

    Commenter
    marktlog
    Date and time
    April 15, 2014, 12:34PM
    • They fought the law and...watch this space.

      Commenter
      Ms H
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      April 15, 2014, 12:47PM

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