Gray, a founding partner at BGH Capital and a former managing partner at TPG and Credit Suisse, has been with her every step of the way.
Labor is bracing for a backlash against Andrews in the Labor heartland of the west.
The latest Redbridge poll shows Labor are in trouble in the west and may lose Melton, Point and possibly Werribee to Treasurer Tim Pallas. Pallas has largely remained in the seat throughout the campaign and on Thursday said he was “taking nothing for granted.”
Mr Gray was among the businessmen who were frustrated by Melbourne’s lengthy COVID-19 lockdowns.
He went public with his concerns in September 2020, though he was careful to direct his comments to Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp, whom he said needed to “fight harder” to reopen the city.
In Werribee, Pallas is facing competition from car dealer-turned-independent Paul Hopper, who, like other independents in the west, says Labor has taken the seats for granted and that “we don’t have enough support here in West”.
On the subject of Labor’s trajectory in the West, Ms. Grigorovitch points to a $900 million investment in Melton Hospital, 31 new schools and $1.8 billion for highway improvements and the troubled West Gate Tunnel project.
Western suburbs reaction
Opposition leader Matthew Guy has also unexpectedly spent several days campaigning in the west and has vowed to build the Metro 2 rail link, a tunnel under Melbourne’s CBD connecting the inner north with the inner west, instead of the rail loop. Daniel Andrews’ $125 billion suburban.
Ms Grigorovitch, who replaced Labor MP Marlene Kairouz as Kororoit’s candidate after the latter was ousted in the Adem Somyurek branch-stacking scandal, takes issue with criticism that she is a “hit” with a rich partner.
“I grew up in Altona and have spent most of my life living in the western suburbs, much longer than any of my opponents. I am a proud Westie,” she said. “I stand on my own two feet and have paved my own career, representing working people and people in need.”
Gray, who will marry Grigorovitch early next year in a lavish event expected to include business heavyweights, journalists and union bosses including John Setka, is also fiercely protective of Grigorovitch.
He said Luba grew up with a single mother, her father having passed away many years ago but leaving Russia in the 1950s.
He also dismissed rumors by independents that Ms Grigorovitch is being endorsed by a billionaire as “utterly ridiculous”, saying independent wealth is about as high as anyone could place their wealth.