Today, he's trying again - the Herald reports:
Labour Party president Andrew Little says its next candidate in Te Atatu will have to repair damage done to it by ousted MP Chris Carter to stop the seat slipping into National's hands.
The party will select its candidate today. After a threat from Mr Carter to stand against the party as an independent if his preferred candidate, Phil Twyford, does not win that selection, Mr Little said Mr Carter was now irrelevant and any remaining local support was "dwindling rapidly".
He said Labour was already damaged by Mr Carter's behaviour.
We don't know whether such an endorsement from Chris Carter is a good thing for Phil Twyford's chances of fourth time lucky, or whether it will be the kiss of death! We guess though that it suggests that Twyford is one of the Carter Seventeen, which may indeed have grown is size after the latest revelations about Phil Goff's housing arrangements.
He has some valuable union support too - read on:
Mr Twyford has the support of at least three unions with voting rights - the Service and Food Workers' Union, the Maritime Union and the Amalgamated Workers Union.
Mr Little is standing aside from the selection panel because Mr McCracken was an EPMU organiser about five years ago. However, Mr Little said yesterday that the union had not endorsed any candidate.
The EPMU will be stung by its defeat in the Manurewa candidate selection where its preferred candidate, Jerome Mika, was defeated. The EPMU will be better prepared this time around, and the SFWU will have a fight on its hands to get Twyford over the line.
The big pity of it all is that Labour's rank and file members in Te Atatu will have little or no say in who is selected as their candidate for the 2011 election. But that's the Labour Way, and we guess that whoever is chosen will have to live with that. In some ways we hope that Phil Twyford gets the nod; he was effective in leading Labour's opposition to the Supercity. But wouldn't it be fun if Chris Carter became a player again?
UPDATE: It is indeed fourth time lucky for Phil Twyford