Vegan politician Emma Hurst has been elected to the New South Wales upper house, defeating her pro-factory farming, anti-PETA opponent.
The Animal Justice Party (AJP) candidate defeated Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm after the results of the March 23 election were revealed this week, The Australian reported.
AJP is Australia’s first political party created entirely to benefit the interest and wellbeing of animals.
Hurst has pledged to use her position to make a difference in the lives of animals.
“I won’t be some politician full of empty promises – I plan to do whatever it takes to make changes for animals,” Hurst wrote on Facebook.
“Because there are still millions of hens in cages, there are koalas having their homes torn down, and there are animals being shot from the skies.”
Leyonhjelm, who quit his position as a national senator, prematurely declared himself the winner in a Facebook post on March 28.
“I am pleased to announce that I have been elected to the NSW Parliament for the next eight years,” said Leyonhjelm.
“Resigning early from the Senate to run in my home state was a gamble, but it has paid off.”
At age 67, this could be the end of Leyonhjelm’s political career.
The complete opposite of Hurst, Leyonhjelm is a supporter of factory farming, who believes in less regulation in the animal agriculture industry and has called for the destruction of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Hurst has no shortage of skills. The former media officer for PETA is a registered psychologist, as well as a former gold medal winning bodybuilder.
She will join fellow AJP member Mark Pearson on the New South Wales Legislative Council.
Andy Meddick, who was elected last year, also represents AJP on the Victorian Legislative Council.