SAYING HELLO: Pat Conaghan (right) and his wife Ilona say hello to a supporter in Coffs Harbour on election day.
SAYING HELLO: Pat Conaghan (right) and his wife Ilona say hello to a supporter in Coffs Harbour on election day. Sam Flanagan

Conaghan isn't proud of The Nationals attacks on Oakeshott

AFTER six months of hard campaigning, The Nationals candidate for Cowper Pat Conaghan has finally had the chance to take a deep breath and reflect.

Having taken time off work as a solicitor to mount a strong case for election, Mr Conaghan said he's quietly confident of being selected by the people of the region to represent them in Canberra.

Having had control of Cowper since 1963, never in that time has The Nationals come under such a big threat from opposing candidates, namely independent Rob Oakeshott

Mr Conaghan said he's ready for the fight of his life to ensure the seat remains in the hands of The Nationals.

"Absolutely, and I don't expect a result tonight. Rob's been around for a long time and has got name recognition," he said.

"I'm a new candidate but I think I've proven my worth to people."

Pat Conaghan isn't proud of campaign against Oakeshott: Nationals candidate for Cowper Pat Conaghan opens up on his party's campaign against Rob Oakeshott.

The Nationals' campaign against Mr Oakeshott has taken a sour turn over the last couple of weeks, as they accused the 49-year-old of never having a real job, living on a government income despite not being in parliament and never finishing his medical degree.

Mr Conaghan said he was a little disappointed his party chose to go that way.

"Personally I don't like that type of material but I'm part of a team and decisions were made," he said.

"I like Rob and I think he's a nice fellow, we've always been cordial with each other and polite.

"He's out there having a go, I'm out there having a go and at the end of the day we're both big boys and we walked into this with our eyes wide open."