David Leyonhjelm to contest NSW election

Controversial senator to shift to state politics

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David Leyonhjelm says his chances of being elected to the NSW parliament are strong.

David Leyonhjelm says his chances of being elected to the NSW parliament are strong.

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Leyonhjelm says NSW is 'nanny state central', running for NSW upper house.

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LIBERAL Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm believes his chances of winning a seat in the NSW parliament are strong as he calls time on his federal political career.

The controversial libertarian says after working on parliamentary committees looking at "nanny state" and red tape issues, he believes his aims can be better achieved in state parliament.

He plans to quit federal politics by March 1 and will contest the state's March 23 election.

Senator Leyonhjelm says he isn't concerned about competing against one-time Liberal Democrats member and former Labor leader Mark Latham, who is running for One Nation in the state's upper house at the election.

The NSW senator believes they'll both be elected and says his chances are "strong".

He said NSW was becoming "nanny state central" and if elected to the upper house would tackle laws around liquor licensing, where smoking is allowed, vaping, gambling, lock-outs and voluntary assisted suicide.

Senator Leyonhjelm will continue his push to legalise cannabis for recreational use and supports pill testing at music festivals but wants it to be privately-funded.

The sole Liberal Democrats senator was engulfed in controversy in 2018 after he told Greens' Sarah Hanson-Young to "stop shagging men" in parliament.

Senator Hanson-Young is suing over interviews Senator Leyonhjelm gave between June 28 and July 2 to Sky News, Melbourne radio station 3AW and the ABC's 7.30 program, and a media statement posted on Medium.com on June 28.

Senator Leyonhjelm doesn't think the lawsuit will hurt his chances in the election saying the two senators have "radically" different support bases.

He was first elected to the upper house at the 2013 federal poll and re-elected at the 2016 double dissolution election.

Australian Associated Press

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