Councillor Loretta Baker will contest Maitland’s top job after being endorsed as the Labor Party’s mayoral candidate.
Cr Baker won a pre-selection vote on Saturday where East Maitland Labor Party branch members put her ahead of Cr Henry Meskauskas, the only other Labor nomination for mayoral candidacy.
Cr Baker was the clear winner in the vote and will now campaign for the position against the Independent mayor Peter Blackmore and Greens party member Jan Davis in the lead-up to the September 8 local government election.
She could also face competition from the Liberal Party, who are yet to announce a mayoral candidate or who their team comprise.
Cr Baker said she was humbled by her colleagues’ decision.
“I take a holistic view of things and I am interested in looking at things through a broad base,” she said.
“Each suburb has their own issues and we need to bring all of those together and make decisions so our city works as a city.
“I want to make sure that the rural aspect of our city which attracts people here remains, we have to retain our lifestyle and Maitland has to be liveable.”
Cr Baker is focused on the city’s sustainability, the redevelopment of the CBD, affordable housing, and improving the city’s cycle ways to encourage more people to ride their bikes.
“I have been a community nurse in most areas of Maitland for the last 20 years and I have a clear idea of how people have to live,” she said.
“People need to have a good quality of life and a roof over their head.
“All sorts of people live in cities, from the homeless to business people, and there is a lot for our team to think about in considering the city’s future.”
Cr Baker is also conscious of the city’s growing population and the need to create more jobs to accommodate the increase.