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Nationals' Tony Mileto has been chosen to run against Phil Donato in March

October 15, 2022

NSW Nationals candidate for Orange Tony Mileto (left) and State Electorate Council chair Kate Hazelton. Supplied.

By Peter Holmes

"I feel very humbled and proud to be chosen, but there is a lot of hard work ahead," Tony Mileto told The Orange News Examiner after he was elected unopposed on Saturday to run as the National Party candidate for the seat of Orange at the state election in March.

National Party members gathered in Molong for the pre-selection. Although he was unopposed, there was still a formal process to follow at the private meeting.

Mileto - who sits on Orange City Council - spoke for 10 minutes on his "plan and vision" for the electorate, and then faced 10 minutes of questions. Such was the level of interest there was a short extension granted.

A vote was conducted; Mileto said the result of the ballot was confidential.

Asked if he would celebrate his pre-selection Mileto said: "I've got nothing to celebrate. I've just got a lot of hard work in front of me."

Mileto would not go into detail on how he planned to unseat Orange MP Phil Donato of the Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party, but said in a media statement released by the Nationals after the vote that "Orange is missing out on funding opportunities at the moment”.

“I've always believed The Nationals are the best party to represent this region," Mileto said in the statement. "I do a lot of community work with mental health and suicide prevention. The community's my passion and so is the region and if given the opportunity I'll continue to fight for those things. I am a person who will deliver and give Orange a strong voice in government."

Mileto - who will reveal more about his strategy and policy priorities in a media conference on Monday - is chair of Orange City Council's Crime Prevention, Employment and Economic Development, and Traffic committees.

He was a police officer for more than 10 years, and worked from 2006 to 2018 as a senior inspector-investigator with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

He is the former president of the Orange Ratepayers Association, the current president of the Orange and District Football Association, and president of the Ex-Services Soccer Club.

Mileto is a father of three – Scott, Alyssa, and Blake.

Deputy premier and Nationals’ leader Paul Toole congratulated Mileto: “Tony is a local champion who will be a great fighter for the people of Orange. He will make a fantastic local MP and I’m proud to have him on the NSW Nationals team."

MORE NEWS: Senior National says "gloss is going off" Phil Donato, but is it just wishful thinking?

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