The West

A WA political analyst has said gaining retiring Kalgoorlie MLA John Bowler's endorsement has made Wendy Duncan the "strong favourite" to win the seat.

As the Kalgoorlie Miner reported at the weekend, Mr Bowler used his farewell party at his electorate office on Friday night to make the announcement.

Both Ms Duncan and WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls were in attendance. Ms Duncan will run for the seat of Kalgoorlie at next year’s State Election rather than her safe Upper House seat in the Mining and Pastoral region.

Curtin University political analyst Professor David Black said he was not surprised by the move, but described it as “extremely important”.

He said Mr Bowler’s strong personal vote and the WA Nationals’ previous showing in Kalgoorlie – finishing second in the 2008 State Election and Tony Crook’s win in O’Connor at the Federal Election – would mean Ms Duncan was the clear favourite.

Prof Black said this would make it “very difficult” for the Liberals and WA Labor. Ms Duncan said she was honoured to have the endorsement, describing Mr Bowler as a “very special politician”.

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