UPDATE 5:15pm: The Nationals have called for Shooters Fishers and Farmers candidate Matthew Stadtmiller to be disendorsed after after it emerged he made Nazi slurs on Facebook directed at Bathurst MP Paul Toole.
The post was made on January 20 and featured Mr Toole with a superimposed mustache quoted as: “Remind You Of A Certain German? He Acts Like Him!”
When approached for comment, Mr Stadtmiller said he understood why the post “could be seen in a poor way”.
“I think Katrina may have been having at me about my heritage which is German,” he said.
"What was posted about Paul Toole, I was demonstrating the anger that the people had in the area over forced amalgamations and the power that Mr Toole had in forcing the mergers.
“No one deserves to be called a Nazi.
“I can own up to what I’ve done wrong and Katrina can do the same.”
Former Member for Cootamundra has responded to Matthew Stadtmiller’s pre-selection for the Cootamundra by-election in dramatic fashion on social media.
Ms Hodgkinson replied to the 33-year-old’s candidacy through her official Twitter account with the phrase “Zieg Heil”.
The Nazi inference has outraged Mr Stadtmiller and party associate Robert Borsak with both calling for a formal apology from Ms Hodgkinson, Ms Cooke and Deputy Premier John Barilaro.
“My father escaped Buchenwald concentration camp at the end of World War II and I am disgusted by Ms Hodgkinson’s slur against our by-election candidate,” Mr Borsak said.
“The gloves are now off.
“Any respect we once had for her is now gone.”
Guns lobby group Firearm Owners United have also weighed into the debate.
Zig heil?— Katrina Hodgkinson (@KatrinaHoddy) September 6, 2017
“We expect this sort of thing from Greens candidates, not from outgoing Nationals,” group president James Buckle told the Herald on Thursday morning.
“It’s just another sign the Nationals have abandoned their rural constituents and we’ll be actively lobbying against them in the Cootamundra by-election.”
The Nationals have since distanced themselves from Ms Hodgkinson’s statements..
“We would ask for inquiries to be directed towards Ms Hodgkinson as she is no longer a member of parliament,” a spokesperson for Mr Barilaro said.
“Our stance is that she does not directly represent us and we feel no need to respond.”
The Herald has unsuccessfully attempted to contact the former Member for Cootamundra for further comment.
However Ms Hodgkinson has maintained a Twitter presence on the thread with the following comment.
More to come.
Question leanings... How will S&F pref?— Katrina Hodgkinson (@KatrinaHoddy) September 7, 2017