One Sydney woman is confident Anthony Albanese is exactly as he seems when the cameras aren't rolling during the Federal Election campaign — because as her landlord, he's already helped her out.
Chrissy Flanagan, A Sydney restaurateur, is also Mr Albanese's tenant.
In a TikTok video which garnered attention, she claimed she had "no idea" Mr Albanese was the landlord of her current home until she signed the lease.
Like many in the hospitality sector during the pandemic, Ms Flanagan admits her businesses struggled – something she spoke to Yahoo News Australia about in 2020.
Fortunately, at the start of 2020, Mr Albanese reduced Ms Flanagan's rent by 25 per cent.
"Which was amazing then, but what's more stunning is that even now, two years later, he still hasn't put it back up and admittedly things still are patchy in the hospitality sector," Ms Flanagan said in the video.
Speaking to Yahoo News Australia on Monday morning, Ms Flanagan said despite everything being open, she's still losing business due to Covid, as are many other establishments.
"There's still a crisis in plenty of industries as a direct result of Covid. So I think Albo doing this for us shows that he gets that it's not just like business as usual," she said.
Ms Flanagan has previously worked in various roles in the NSW government in recent years, her LinkedIn page shows.
Speaking to Yahoo, she explained that she worked at the state level the last time Labor was in power in NSW about a decade ago and did not know Mr Albanese at the time. But in 2019, Mr Albanese tweeted a photo with local mayor Darcy Byrne and Ms Flannagan at her business.
While some online suggested the TikTok was political advertising, Ms Flannagan insisted she merely did it of her own volition to give people a better sense of her landlord and candidate.
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) May 4, 2019
Anthony Albanese is 'just a good dude'
Her usual content on TikTok usually pertains to her business and life, but Ms Flanagan thought people should know what Mr Albanese is like when he's not in the spotlight or on the campaign trail.
Living in Mr Albanese's electorate, she has told people in the past of Mr Albanese's "decent" act of kindness.
At the start of the pandemic, Ms Flanagan was working in her shop when she saw a face pressed up against the window – and it was Mr Albanese.
In her TikTok video, she explained he was just dropping by all the local businesses to do a welfare check and make sure they were doing okay.
"He didn't bring media with him, he didn't bring staff with him, he just came to say 'hi' and see if we're okay. He's just a good dude," she said.
In the past, Ms Flanagan has worked with politicians and said not all of them are the same behind the scenes, compared to their public persona.
But with Mr Albanese, what you see is what you get.
"I think he's brought his real self to politics. So that's a very vulnerable thing to do and I really respect that because I think it's a sh**ty game. Like, it's a horrible life and I'm too selfish to ever do it," she told Yahoo.
"I respect someone [who is] a decent person who's prepared to do it because they have values rather than just having a blood-sucking appetite for power."
Suffice to say, Ms Flanagan is a fan of Mr Albanese and even has a picture of him in his youth hanging on the wall of her local restaurant The Sausage Factory.
Of course, one of Australia's most treasured election traditions is the democracy sausage. And the self-proclaimed Sausage Queen believes the best democracy sausage is your local democracy sausage.
"I think on election day all sausages are created equal. Because it's not about like the fanciest or the most gourmet — it's like you know, who is your sausage?" Ms Flanagan said.
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