The captain's pick to run for Labor in the federal seat of Hunter, Daniel Repacholi, has pleaded with branch members for a chance to run for Federal Parliament, saying he is not the "misogynistic prick" he believes he has been portrayed.
The nomination for the five-time Olympian and former coal miner is set to be confirmed by the ALP national executive on Friday without a rank-and-file preselection. Labor leader Anthony Albanese and Joel Fitzgibbon have backed him to become the candidate, with Mr Fitzgibbon describing Mr Repacholi as a "normal larrikin Australian."
But the nominee appears to be in terminal trouble with branch members.
In series of exchanges seen by The Canberra Times, an introductory email to branch members on Thursday night was immediately rebuffed with members describing the candidacy as unearned and unacceptable while urging him to withdraw for the sake of the party.
The branch members are outraged by now deleted sexually provocative and racially charged social media posts by Mr Repacholi, including a description of India as a "shit hole" and a listing of his "favourite quote" as being, "Size dosent (sic) matter when you have 130 kg pushing it."
Acknowledging people are unhappy, he says he regrets his past actions and wants to make amends.
"There are things that I have posted on my socials in the past that I am not proud of at all and wish that I had never posted unfortunately I can not change that, but what I can do is show you and all the members is that I am not a misogynistic prick like the media has portrayed me as," Mr Repacholi wrote.
"I treat everyone with respect and as equals no matter who they are or what background they come from.
The Canberra Times has spoken to Mr Repacholi and branch members and verified the emails.
The members in Hunter want a rank-and-file vote and are questioning his qualities to run as a Labor candidate.
Mr Repacholi also says he wanted a rank-and-file vote.
"I never expected it to go to a national executive vote at all," Mr Repacholi said.
"I thought it would be a rank-and-file vote like what most of the members would have thought as well. I never expected to just be able to walk into the top job. I can assure you of that.
"But in saying that, I do believe that I have a lot to offer the Labor as I set out in my introduction to you."
The Olympic shooter also explained why he missed a Zoom meeting of candidates earlier this week, an action which also enraged branch members.
"I was aware that the meeting was taking place on Tuesday evening however I have looked through all of my emails, messages and phone calls and can't find an invitation to this meeting," Mr Repacholi wrote.
"What platform was the invitation sent on?"
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