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Mr Mitchell, who has a professional background in tourism and emergency management, was yesterday confirmed as his party’s candidate.
“We’re delighted to have a local, experienced leader as the candidate to campaign for Labour in the Southland electorate," Otago-Southland Labour convener Ruth Chapman said.
Mr Mitchell has an uphill battle to enter Parliament; the former Clutha-Southland seat was won by National’s Hamish Walker, by 14,354 votes.
Other confirmed candidates for the seat are Queenstown businessman Basil Walker (Act New Zealand), Joel Rowlands (The Opportunities Party) and Victoria Hoskins/Bonham (NZ Outdoors Party).
New Zealand First list MP Mark Patterson, who was based in the electorate until boundary changes moved his residence to the Taieri seat, has yet to confirm which seat he will stand in at the election.
Mr Mitchell said agriculture, water rights certainty and environmental protection were significant election issues for Southland.
"Supporting agriculture and employment for local youth, and encouraging even better land and water management are crucial in Clutha and Southland.
"The aluminium smelter dross issue must be resolved for Mataura and wider Southland," Mr Mitchell said.