ANDREW Gee will serve a second term as the member for Calare after weathering the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party storm.
As of 10.30pm on Saturday, Mr Gee attracted 45.1 per cent of the primary vote against Labor candidate Jess Jennings on 21.7 per cent and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Sam Romano's 17.9 per cent.
He celebrated the victory at Orange City Bowling Club and ,despite the 3.4 per cent drop, said he was gratified by the result.
A lot of people had been predicting that our primary vote would basically collapse, and probably our opponents were hoping that it would, but we were really thrilled by the way our primary vote held up.Member for Calare Andrew Gee
"A lot of people had been predicting that our primary vote would basically collapse, and probably our opponents were hoping that it would, but we were really thrilled by the way our primary vote held up," he said.
The two-party preferred result was unclear on election night - Mr Gee was projected to receive 61.6 per cent of the vote against Mr Romano's 38.4 per cent - virtually identical to the 2016 result against Dr Jennings - but Mr Gee said his team's count concluded Dr Jennings came second in the race.
"We think they're going to have re-calculate the whole thing," he said.
"We were surprised it got set up in the way that it did with the Shooters rather than Jess Jennings - we always thought that Jess Jennings was probably a better chance."
He paid tribute to Dr Jennings, who had contested his third campaign for the seat, calling him a warrior.
"I respect him for the way he's gone out and fought for his beliefs," he said.
He attributed the victory to a positive campaign and three years of hard work.
Earlier in the night at the Hotel Canobolas, Mr Romano conceded a three-week campaign may not have been long enough.
"But that's no excuse," he said.
Shooters members at the function were adamant the party would try again in Calare, as well as possibly Parkes, New England and the Goulburn region.
Mr Jennings refused to rule out a fourth tilt at the seat while lamenting a lack of resources this campaign.
"At this stage, I wouldn't see any reason why not, but it's a long way off and we'll have to see what happens in between," he said.
"We couldn't have run a better campaign given the limited resources we have.
"It would be a complete luxury to have a budget and resources, volunteers non-stop available ... when you put that resource constraint on the campaign, it's like going into a boxing match with one hand behind your back."
Pre-polling counts are yet to come in.
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