36ers owner offering free tickets amid political career speculation
Lucky Liberal members are being offered free basketball tickets to watch the Adelaide 36ers, thanks to the team's owner and much-speculated Mayo candidate, Grant Kelley.
In an email to Liberal members, supplied to Off the Record, Mayo federal electorate committee (FEC) president Rowan Mumford tells them a free ticket for them and a friend to the May 4 home game (against the Cairns Taipans) is being supplied thanks to "our good friends at the Adelaide 36ers".
“Grant Kelley, owner of the 36ers organisation, is a strong supporter of the Liberal Party in South Australiaand the Mayo FEC,” Mumford writes.
Kelley, whose public campaign for the Adelaide Crows board was thwarted last year, early last year was rumoured to be positioning as the Liberal candidate for Mayo, to take on incumbent Rebekha Sharkie at a federal election now expected early next year.
Kelley, who declined to comment on any Mayo preselection intentions, is chief executive officer of national shopping centre giant Vicinity Centres.
His family company, Holdfast Assets, has property holdings in Mayo, including two vineyards on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Long-term Liberal fundraising director Maurice Henderson last September became managing director of Holdfast Assets.
Henderson retains strong Liberal connections - it is understood the ticket offer has been received by party members in electorates other than Mayo.
Asked whether the gift of basketball tickets was appropriate for a potential preselection candidate, Liberal state director Sascha Meldrum said “whether Mr Kelley intends to nominate is a question for him”.