Candidate suddenly dies days before vote

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A Nationals candidate for a seat in regional Victoria has died just days before the state election.

Shaun Gilchrist had been endorsed as the party’s candidate for the seat of Narracan in northwest Gippsland.

Nationals state director Matthew Harris said Mr Gilchrist’s death was unexpected and a shock to all who knew him.

“Today I have written to the Victorian Electoral Commission to advise of the tragic and unexpected death of The Nationals’ candidate for Narracan, Shaun Gilchrist,” he said.

“The Victorian Nationals express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr Gilchrist, and our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time.”

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy also sent condolences to Mr Gilchrist’s family following his passing.

“It is with great sadness that the Liberals and Nationals today acknowledge the passing of Mr Shaun Gilchrist,” he said.

“The Gilchrist family are in our thoughts and have asked for privacy and respect during their time of grief.”

He had been campaigning in Warragul for issues surrounding the timber industry just two days ago.

Mr Gilchrist was raised in Jindivick and attended school in Warragul before moving overseas to Vanuatu, where he worked in IT.

After returning to Victoria, he ran a small business in Warragul, where he lived with his partner and children.

Narracan is a typically safe Liberal seat that covers the provincial Warragul-Drouin area as well as smaller rural towns in north west Gippsland.

The Liberal Party has held the seat since 2006 and has only spent two terms out of office since the seat’s creation in 1967.

No candidate from The Nationals has campaigned for the seat of Narracan since 2006.

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