Rising son: this one’s for you, Dad

When Paul Toole announced he was running for the seat of Bathurst he was following a proud family tradition.

His grandfather Jack Toole stood for the seat in 1956 as a Liberal Party candidate, and his dad Trevor Toole fought for the seat for the Nationals in 1994.

Trevor stood against sitting Labor member Mick Clough and lost on preferences by 200 votes. Finally, third time was the charm.

On Saturday Paul Toole won the state seat with a massive 36.5 per cent swing.

All three Toole men have also served in local government – on Abercrombie, Turon, Evans and Bathurst councils.

In 1995, Trevor also ran for the federal seat of Calare. The seat was won by independent Peter Andren.

Trevor said he has never guided his children towards political life, but he was pleased when Paul said he was running because he felt he had a great chance.

“I think the fact that he can relate to all people is a great gift,” he said. “He’s very strong on his ideals and he is undoubtedly a hard worker.

“When we were doorknocking he would run from one house to another so he could fit in as many as possible.

“When I was out in the community myself I came across people time and time again who talked about his support for them. Even on election day he took time out of calling in at the booths to visit his grandmother in the nursing home.

“She was anxious to know the result so he made a point of going back to see her the next day.”

He added that Paul’s whole extended family was very involved in the campaign. Paul is one of nine children raised by Trevor and Ellen Toole at Peel.

He remembers going out with his dad and helping him with his doorknocking.

Paul said it was this experience in his early 20s that gave him the grounding to want to go into politics.

“Dad has been fantastic. He has a great deal of respect across the electorate and is my mentor in many respects,” Paul said.

“He has always been there for us, even when he was so busy. He showed me it can be done, and that it’s critical to balance family life and public life.”

Paul said the decision to run for the seat was one he and his wife Jo made together.

“Dad leaves things to my own judgment but he will always support me along the way,” he said.

“He has been involved in enough campaigns over the years to know how to run an effective and efficient campaign and, with the hard work of my team, that played a big part in me achieving the result I got on Saturday.

“It is as much his victory as mine.”

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