INDEPENDENT candidate for Wagga Paul Funnell has apologised for swearing “on a stack of bibles” he would not contest the seat at this month’s state election.
Mr Funnell, a Wagga councillor and staunch Catholic, told The Advertiser in December he had no intention of running for the seat, despite being a vocal critic of sitting MP Daryl Maguire.
But this week, Mr Funnell threw his hat in the ring as a Country Party-aligned Independent.
“I should never have said I wouldn’t run but I can’t change it now,” a contrite Mr Funnell said.
“My intention was always not to run but so many people have urged me to I decided the time was right.”
He said he had even spoken to his local parish priest to explain his decision.
“Our region needs someone to step up and put people before politics,” Mr Funnell said.
Mr Funnell, who ran under the DLP banner at the 2013 federal election, said he accepted it was “not a good start” to his election campaign.