A regional Labor candidate has gone viral after the two-metre tall giant dwarfed leader Anthony Albanese in a comical press conference.
Daniel Repacholi, a former Olympian in the sport of shooting is the ALP’s huge, bearded candidate for the seat of Hunter in NSW’s coal-mining region.
He appeared alongside Mr Albanese at an event in Cessnock on Thursday morning, towering over the prime minister hopeful before going viral on social media.
‘Standing up for Hunter. He doesn’t really have to if he’s that tall does he?’ one person said, joking about Mr Repacholi’s campaign slogan.
‘Introducing Albo’s new bodyguard,’ another user tweeted.
A regional Labor candidate has gone viral after the six-foot-eight giant dwarfed leader Anthony Albanese in a comical press conference
Mr Albanese and Mr Repacholi pose in front of a mining truck on Thursday, with the Labor leader failing to even come up to the Hunter candidates neck
Mr Repacholi’s ‘Standing up for Hunter’ campaign was applauded online as pictures emerge of him posing with locals around the area
Mr Repacholi’s ‘Standing up for Hunter’ message earned the applause of dozens of Twitter users, with people posting images of him posing with locals around town.
‘Standing up for Hunter, and then plowing directly into every door frame or low hanging eave,’ one user joked.
‘I choose him as my Champion in a trial by combat for the PM seat, Scomo you have 3 days to choose,’ another man wrote, referencing popular HBO series Game of Thrones.
Mr Repacholi towers in the background as Mr Albanese speaks with nurses at a press conference on Thursday morning
Mr Repacholi poses for a picture in the rain with a local Hunter resident
One user shared a meme of Knickers, Western Australia’s famous six-foot-four 1,400kg cow who went viral in 2018 after it was pictured dwarfing his herd of cattle.
‘Love his pet cow too,’ the man said of Mr Repacholi.
Mr Albanese then posted back to back with the giant MP, showing off his comical size in front of a mining truck. Mr Repacholi is six-foot-eight in the old measurement.
One user shared a meme of Knickers, Western Australia’s famous six-foot-four 1,400kg cow who went viral in 2018, saying he was the Labor candidate’s pet
Mr Repacholi’s ‘Standing up for Hunter’ message earned the applause of dozens of Twitter users, with people posting images of him posing with locals around town
The opposition leader was asked whether he was ‘comfortable’ standing next to a candidate ‘who has been forced to delete social media posts and profiles over controversial things he has said online’.
‘I support Dan as the candidate for Hunter,’ Mr Albanese responded.
‘The truth is, if everyone is held to account, who now is a young person on social media for what they might put on social media in their 20s, then I tell you what, in 10 years time, you will struggle to hold a press conference because there won’t be candidates.
Mr Repacholi is seen on the campaign trail in the Hunter electorate
Mr Repacholi’s choice as the Labor candidate in Hunter was controversial after distasteful old social media posts emerged
‘Dan Repacholi, I have got to know him in recent times. He has represented his country with honour. He has been a coal miner in this area. He has worked in industry, in small business before having to resign to run full-time.
‘He is the sort of person I want to see in politics. Were all of his social media posts perfect? No, they weren’t. He regrets that. We need to actually have real people coming in.
‘This bloke is as real as they come and I look forward to him being in the Federal Parliament.’
Repacholi was considered one of Mr Albanese’s ‘captain’s picks’ for the once safe Labor seat, vacated by retiring Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon.
Before his endorsement for the seat old social media posts emerged in which the former miner came out in support of coal, despite his party’s
‘If you don’t support coal then sit in the dark and freeze this winter,’ one Facebook post read.
Another post referred to India as a ‘sh**hole’ after Repacholi had attended the Commonwealth Games there in 2010.
Mr Repacholi apologised after he referred to India as a ‘sh**hole’ after he had attended the Commonwealth Games there in 2010. Pictured: Mr Repacholi claims the gold medal in the men’s 50m pistol event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018
Mr Repacholi claims the gold medal in the men’s 50m pistol event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018
The five-time Olympic shooter later apologised for the post, describing it as ‘stupid and offensive’.
He had also posted ‘sexually descriptive’ content and links to a soft porn website.
A number of rank-and-file members in the Hunter electorate complained about being denied a say in who the Hunter candidate would be.
‘Rank and file party members know their local area and work their guts out for the cause. If it wasn’t for us, there wouldn’t be a Labor Party,’ Morgan Campbell, the president of the Cessnock branch of the party, wrote after Mr Albanese announced he would back Mr Repacholi.
‘Every time a deal gets done the party gets smaller and more closed off from ordinary people.’
On Thursday Mr Repacholi was asked whether he would defend the jobs of miners in the electorate if Labor policies on greenhouse gas emissions caused job losses
On Thursday Mr Repacholi was asked whether he would defend the jobs of miners in the electorate if Labor policies on greenhouse gas emissions caused job losses.
‘The export market will make the decision about coal mining’s future,’ he said.
‘It has got many, many years to go. We are here to make sure we continue with safe, secure employment for everyone, so we have good futures for families.’
Mr Repacholi has won gold medals at three Commonwealth Games – Melbourne, Glasgow and the Gold Coast.
The formerly safe Labor seat of Hunter is now held on a margin of just 3 per cent, with a huge vote for One Nation in the 2019 election considered a protest vote against the ALP’s climate change policies in that election.