News National Family illness forces Kerryn Phelps to drop out of Sydney mayoral race

Family illness forces Kerryn Phelps to drop out of Sydney mayoral race

kerryn phelps
Kerryn Phelps (centre) and wife Jackie Stricker-Phelps at the funeral of designer Carla Zampatti in April. Photo: Getty
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Dr Kerryn Phelps has ended her bid to become Sydney’s Lord Mayor, saying she needs to care for a family member facing health problems.

The former federal member for Wentworth said she was devastated to have to withdraw her nomination for Lord Mayor against political rival Clover Moore in September’s election.

“I am sad to have to announce that I will not be nominating for the position of Lord Mayor for the City of Sydney in the September 2021 election,” Dr Phelps announced on her Facebook page on Sunday night.

“I need to be present over the coming months to help manage a health issue for a close family member.

“I am devastated at the timing as I have been working towards this election for the past five years, but my priority must be my family.”

Dr Phelps said she would stay on as “a true independent councillor” on the City of Sydney Council until her term ends in September.

From TV doc to politics

Dr Phelps launched her campaign to oust Clover Moore, who has been in Sydney’s Lord Mayor for 17 years, in February.

Dr Phelps was elected to the City of Sydney council in 2016 as a member of the Clover Moore Independents Team, and was then named Deputy Lord Mayor. She resigned as deputy in June 2017 to become an independent councillor.

In 2018, she ran as an independent in the federal Sydney seat of Wentworth after former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull retired from parliament. She won the seat but lost to Liberal Dave Sharma at the federal election in 2019.

Before turning to politics, Dr Phelps built a public profile as a celebrity TV doctor and later became the first female head of the Australian Medical Association

She is married to Jackie Stricker-Phelps, a former teacher, and the pair share an adopted daughter, Gabi. They were the first same-sex non-kin couple to adopt a child in NSW.

Dr Phelps also has a daughter and a son from her first marriage with Michael Fronzek.