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Sharkie circling Downer in Mayo poll

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May 15, 2018

Rebekha Sharkie insists it will be people power not big bucks that will win the Mayo by-election.

Nick Xenophon is unlikely to play a starring role in Rebekha Sharkie's bid to retain the South Australian seat of Mayo in an upcoming by-election.

Ms Sharkie won the seat originally as part of the Nick Xenophon Team, before he quit the Senate to make an ultimately unsuccessful tilt at South Australian state politics.

She said Mr Xenophon was busy rebuilding his life - caring for elderly parents and restarting his legal practice.

"If Nick wants to come up and help he knows where my tiny little campaign office is," Ms Sharkie told reporters in Adelaide on Tuesday.

"I think I've already asked enough of Nick over the years, I think it's time for him to take care of himself."

Ms Sharkie, who was caught up in the dual-citizenship saga, is facing an uphill battle to retain her seat.

She's up against a more cashed-up opponent with the Liberals recruiting Georgina Downer, whose father Alexander held the seat and was foreign minister in the Howard government.

"I've got a wealth of people power behind me, I don't have the dollars," Ms Sharkie said.

Asked if she was concerned about the campaign getting dirty, Ms Sharkie responded: "Politics is an ugly beast, but I will... hold my head up with integrity."

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