We’ve now received about 50 emails from the Crikey army contributing to our definitive list
of hacks, successful or otherwise, who have run for public office. The
number of successful tilts for state and federal Parliament is up to 59
while the equally fascinating failed tilts group is now into the 20s
and includes entries like the following:

David Utting was a journalist with The West Australian,
editing the paper’s gadgets section in the early 1990s. In late 2004 he
started the Western Beacon newspaper, a free monthly giveaway, in
Fremantle. In May 2005, while still reporting/commentating on council
affairs, he had a tilt at Fremantle council’s south ward, publicly
declaring he had to do so because his polling showed a business
candidate was going to thrash the community candidate.

As it turned out, the community candidate (Jon Strachan) romped home
ahead of businessman (Victor Paino). Utting finished a distant third.
Importantly, local councils here are first past the post so there were
no preferences allocated. If anything, Utting endangered Strachan by
threatening to split the community vote. Utting, a cousin of former
Fremantle mayor and well-known WA barrister Richard Utting, then folded
his paper and his South Fremantle house is on the market.

We’ve also been challenged to start a new list dealing with politicians
who go into the media for the first time after leaving office. Here are
three names to kick if off:

Jeff Kennett: the former Victorian Premier became a shock jock on 3AK in 2002 until it all fell apart spectacularly.

Daryl Manzie: long serving CLP Minister retired in 2001 and now hosts talk-back radio on the Territory Network and 8TOP-FM community radio.

Graham Richardson: the notorious Labor fixer and Minister in the Hawke and Keating governments became a Bulletin
columnist and low-rating 2GB shock jock as part of his commitment to
the broader Packer circle of influence which includes election night
commentary for Channel Nine.

It’s taken about six hours of updating so far so please do check out these much-improved lists and keep the additions and corrections coming to [email protected] as it is all unique, albeit quite trivial, research.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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