Aidan McLindon new lead Senate candidate for Family First
A FORMER Queensland MP Aidan McLindon, who left a top job in Bob Katter's party in June, will run as the lead Senate candidate for Family First.
Mr McLindon once spoke of turning Cairns into Australia's Las Vegas has joined a party strongly opposed to gambling.
But Mr McLindon told AAP he continues to support "destination gambling" as a way to halt the great social harm being done by poker machines across the country.
"I've always advocated for curbing gambling, and the destination concept is about getting the cancer of poker machines out of our communities," he told AAP on Friday.
Sally Vincent, who will continue to campaign as the party's second Senate candidate, welcomed the addition of Mr McLindon to Family First Queensland's ticket.
''I am very happy to welcome Aidan to the Senate team. He brings experience, enthusiasm, support and, most importantly, he has always stood up for all issues affecting Queensland families," Mrs Vincent said.
Mr McLindon stated that he was looking forward to a challenging campaign and that he was driven to stand up for Queenslanders in the tradition of Barnaby Joyce.
"The sixth Senate spot in Queensland is a wide open race. Family First is a very attractive option for voters who are disappointed in the current array of political parties that constantly change their position on social, economic and environmental issues".
"The final result will come down to preferences. Family First wants to see the back of Labor and the Greens and a Coalition government installed with an unwavering watchdog in the Senate to champion Queensland issues."
Mr McLindon also praised Mrs Vincent for her courageous decision to stand aside as lead candidate.
"Sally and her team have put a great deal of effort into the campaign to date and this is a selfless act. Sally's great personal sacrifice will further the interests of Family First's campaign in Queensland and help ensure that the voice of Queensland families are heard loud and clear in Canberra," Mr McLindon said.
"I'm looking forward to hopping back into the political boxing ring to champion the causes in Queensland which I have done in my eight years in public life".
Family First anticipates running candidates in all of Queensland's thirty federal electorates with an announcement of their statewide team to be made next Thursday.
Family First is the third party for Mr McLindon.
He was elected to the Queensland parliament in 2009, as a member of the Liberal National Party.
He defected the following year to found the Queensland Party and later merged it with Katter's Australian Party.
When he lost his seat of Beaudesert in 2012, he became the national director of the Katter party.
Mr McLindon's resignation from his role as national director caught Mr Katter's caught even senior members off guard.
Mr McLindon announced his intention to leave the role through a press release and a Twitter update in May.
KAP's Queensland parliamentary leader Ray Hopper was told via SMS as the statement was circulated to the media.
Mr Hopper said he was shocked by the decision but described him as a "good mate of mine and a good bloke".