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Graffiti vandals have attacked the election posters of Michael Nagi, the independent candidate running in the seat of Barton, defacing them with images of a swastika.

Mr Nagi, a Rockdale councillor who owns a security company in Arncliffe, said he has replaced more than half a dozen of the posters – some twice – after they were vandalised a second time.

He has been a council member for nine years and said the vandalism may have been a payback because he had been vocal in the council during the past year about transparency and good governance issues.

”I have obviously upset someone; a swastika is not like drawing eyebrows and moustache on a poster,” he said.

Mr Nagi ran in the last state election for the safe Labor seat of Rockdale and won almost 10 per cent of the vote, drawing support away from Labor in a move that helped the Liberals win the seat.

It was the first time the Liberal Party had held the seat in 70 years.

The seat of Barton, where former attorney-general Robert McClelland is retiring, is held by the Labor Party with a margin of 6.9 per cent. But it is no longer considered a safe Labor seat.

Mr Nagi, who is not affiliated with any political party, said already the seat was attracting the attention of federal politicians like never before as a record number from both sides visit the area.

”We haven’t seen anything like this before. Now both parties are paying attention to us instead of taking us for granted,” Mr Nagi said. ”But the big winner in all this is the community.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.