The man who went viral for making a dog bark on A Current Affair appeared to endorse a Liberal candidate running for Bennelong’s seat.
Simon Kennedy was chosen by rank-and-file members in late March to be the Liberal candidate after former tennis star John Alexander announced he would withdraw from the election.
Kennedy, who is part of the right wing of the party, was filmed last month telling anti-vaccine and anti-lockdown campaigners that he would speak in parliament on issues affecting his freedom.
He was speaking with members of A Stand in the Park, a group that has a history of spreading vaccine misinformation.
“People who lose their jobs. I have an enormous amount of empathy for that,” she says in the video.
“It was not a situation that any individual would put themselves in. They were being forced. They had to choose, do I take this course of action and put these chemicals into my body?
But now Kennedy has turned heads for a different reason.
On Friday, he posted a video on his Instagram where he appears to have the support of Ray Graham, who went viral speaking about the problem of dangerous dogs in his neighborhood of Marsfield – which is in the Bennelong constituency – 12 years ago.
His impression of dog growls in A Current Affair gained national attention.
In the new Instagram video, Mr. Graham does his famous bark in Mr. Kennedy’s ear and then says “vote for Kennedy.”
“It was great to come across a barking dog. He has a message for you: Vote for Kennedy!” says the subtitle.
Bennelong, which covers Sydney’s lower north shore, is held by the Liberal Party by a 6.9 percent margin and has only been won by Labor once since it was created in 1949.
That’s when Maxine McKew stunningly defeated Prime Minister John Howard in 2007.
Labor have announced Jerome Laxale as their candidate in the election, a councilor who previously served as mayor of Ryde.
Kennedy is a partner in the consulting firm McKinsey.
He made a statement after ABC discovered the video of him speaking about vaccine mandates.
In it he said that he and his family were vaccinated.
“My support for our vaccination program is strongly informed by my wife’s work as an infectious disease physician, who worked on the Covid response as a clinician and researcher,” the statement said.
“Broad mandates are a complex and emotional topic, and I think it’s important that we have respectful conversations even with people who have different views than yours and help stop the spread of disinformation.”