07 April 2016
by Jenna Clarke
Tamara Candy - the Kim Kardashian of Kingston - Turnbull's secret election weaponOccasional Liberal staffer and part-time model Tamara Candy has been thrust into the spotlight.
Not since Monica Lewinsky has a blue dress captivated the attention of so many political pundits. However, occasional Liberal worker Tamara Candy is unapologetic of her style some call "dangerous".
The 27-year-old PhD student made headlines when she was photographed wearing a plunging blue sequin cocktail dress alongside former Queensland premier Campbell Newman and former Queensland MP Neil Symes last year.
"It's just Canberra prattle," she said of the rumours she was paid to attend the function as Symes' date.
"Why is the way I look an issue? Why should a woman, or man, have to fit into a certain stereotype to be legitimate in politics? I believe that the Parliament should reflect society, evenly.
"Tony Abbott, Alan Jones and Campbell Newman are not my kind of Liberals but I like that the party as it is a broad church. I've had job offers from Labor but my ideals about a limited government and individual rights are better suited to the blue-tie brigade. Sure my libertarian streak has set me apart from many other 'young liberals' but despite what they say I don't aim to be the next Geert Wilders."
Candy may be the Kim Kardashian of Kingston but a look beyond the cleavage, sexy selfies and recent media circus shows a savvy Gen Y politics nerd who may be the Coalition's secret weapon for the upcoming election campaign.
As well as working for conservative Liberal MP George Christensen, the libertarian and part-time model, has volunteered and worked in the offices of Assistant Health Minister Ken Wyatt and Bennelong MP John Alexander.
Before the paparazzi shots of her cavorting in a star-spangled banner bikini surfaced she travelled to the "land of the free" to join Republican Rand Paul's campaign for two months.
Candy, who started her political career in the small Whitsundays town of Proserpine where she was elected chairwoman of the central Queensland Liberal Party, hit the hustings in the United States cold-calling constituents and learning how the Republican machine is attracting young people to the cause.
"The volunteers over there are tech-savvy, young and professional – like hipsters you'd see in Newtown. They are using every means possible to rally support and get first-timers and young voters on board for the November election. They each make 450 phone calls a day and the campaigning doesn't stop there. They are all on Tinder, Facebook and Instagram connecting and essentially spreading the word of the GOP."
Considering the Prime Minister's keen interest in innovation, Capital Hill sources say Candy is tipped to be welcomed back into the fold in the coming weeks.