As NSW voters get ready for the poll on March 23, seven candidates have put their hands up for the seat of Wagga. Australian Conservatives' candidate Colin Taggart has drawn the number three position on the ballot paper.
Colin Taggart is the former president of the Wagga Liberals branch, who quit the party after it decided not to run in this election.
"For me, it was a really sad, difficult decision to make to leave the Liberal party," the magazine publisher said.
"Having been a Conservative for a long time - I was in the Conservative party in Britain and active in the Liberal party - to change and to leave the party was a big decision.
"I think, for me, the major reason was that we weren’t running a Liberal Party candidate here in Wagga, and I felt that people needed to be given that choice, given that four years ago 25,000 people voted for the Liberal Party. Those people haven’t gone away.
I suppose, in effect, I’m standing as a Liberal independent, although I’m with the Australian Conservatives.
"Julia Ham got 12,000 votes - 25 per cent of the vote - in the byelection and the Liberal Party was ahead right up until Labor preferences.
"I feel it was a major mistake not running a Liberal candidate. I really felt Liberals needed to be given that choice, that opportunity to vote for a party - and I really feel the Australian Conservatives best represent the policies and the values of Liberal voters.
"I suppose, in effect, I’m standing as a Liberal independent, although I’m with the Australian Conservatives.
"I'm probably more of a libertarian, a theoretical libertarian, but a practical social conservative. I think social conservatives need to have a voice and there are many social conservatives in Wagga and I think it's good to stand up and say 'I believe in family values and I believe in conservative values' without then getting howled down and being told to keep quiet or being told their voice isn't valid or relevant.
"In that sense, my beliefs map very well with Cory's [Senator Cory Bernardi] and the Australian Conservatives."
Tensions between Mr Taggart and The Nationals' MLC Wes Fang before, during and after the 2018 byelection - and which of the two parties should run a candidate - spilled over onto social media and into the public arena.
Mr Taggart likened his initial social media swipes at Mr Fang to "throwing rocks on Wes's roof".
He said he was "angry and disappointed" by The Nationals during the byelection campaign and by the subsequent decision that The Nationals, and not the Liberals, would run a candidate in this state poll.
"If The Nationals get in, the Liberal Party is, in effect, dead [in Wagga], You can't run a candidate in federal, you won't be able to run a candidate in state, so what's the point of being a Liberal?
"So what I am asking Liberal party voters to do, then, is to register a vote for me and for the Australian Conservatives and that shows that the Liberals haven't gone away.
"If they want to give The Nationals their second preference and ensure The Nationals get in, that's fine, but at least we are registering their conservative and Liberal values."
Born in Belfast, Mr Taggart has had a long interest in politics and joined the Conservatives after winning a scholarship to attend Oxford University at the age of 30.
While studying in Oxford, he met wife Stephanie, who was from Wagga.
"We got married in Britain and had two children and then she announced 'we're going home to Wagga', which came as a bit of a surprise to me," he said.
"But it was the best decision I ever made.
"I often say hippies drop out, but yuppies downshift and so, for us, it was just that downshift for that quality of life, to see my children grow up."
Mr Taggart and his family came back 15 years ago.
Having moved to Wagga for "a better quality of life", Mr Taggart believes this is also a big issue with voters.
He says energy prices, crime and the state government's plan to see Wagga's population grow to 100,000 within 20 years are some of the big-ticket concerns.
He describes the plan to significantly increase Wagga's population as a "rabbit pulled out of the hat" by the state government, with "no facts, no figures, no funding and no detailed planning for infrastructure".
"The reason why this policy came out is because Sydney is full. It's a Sydney solution to a Sydney problem and what we are going to get is simply people decanted into Wagga without infrastructure, without proper provisions," Mr Taggart said.
"I think we do need to have a discussion and a debate about grow just for the sake of it."
On crime, Mr Taggart said the community needed to be more supportive of police.
"When I speak to the police, the problem they tell me is 'catch and release'. It's not a matter of bringing in draconian bail laws, it's not as simple as that. It's a matter of then looking at these repeat offenders, multiple offenders, who are just let out time and time again," he said.
"We need to take balanced approach. We don't want to be scare-mongering and it's not just a simple matter of throwing more money at it.
"I think people are concerned about crime and we need to move the shift on to the victims of crime. I think there is a left-wing PC thing that the criminals are the victims and we need to mollycoddle them. I think we've got our priorities mismatched. Unfortunately, I think there's a lot of victims of crime who are not getting the support and protection they need."