He may have joined the mayoral race just hours before the cutoff date, but deputy mayor Ken Wethered’s late entry has seen him claim top spot on the ballot paper.
Cr Wethered decided to run for mayor on Tuesday afternoon, the day before the ballot order for mayoral and ward candidates was drawn.
He said he’d been deliberating on whether to run for mayor for the last few weeks, before making his decision on the eve of nomination cutoffs.
Cr Wethered said he wanted to contribute to a stable council and continue on from the work of mayor Peter Blackmore, saying he was “very happy” with the retiring councillor’s long-time performance.
It’ll be the third time he has entered the mayoral race after previous attempts in 1993 and 1999.
Cr Wethered’s entry means six candidates will contest the top job.
Behind Cr Wethered on the ballot paper (in order) is the Liberal Party’s Bob Geoghegan, Independents Philip Penfold and Brian Burke, Country Labor’s Loretta Baker, with John Brown last.
The mayoral candidates, with five serving councillors among them, had mixed opinions on whether their position would impact their chances.
“I’m not a big believer in it being a massive difference,” Cr Penfold said.
You always want to be number one, but that's the luck of the drawMayoral candidate Cr Loretta Baker
Cr Loretta Baker said she would have preferred first place, but it was just “the luck of the draw”.
The Greens’ John Brown said he had experience being at the top and the bottom of the list, but said he’d never found his position had ever overly impacted him.
Elsewhere in the wards (in order, as they’ll appear on the ballot paper):
- Sally Halliday
- Loretta Baker
- Brian Burke
- Philip Penfold
- John Brown
- Nicole Penfold
- Ben Mitchell
- Henry Meskauskas
- Ken Wethered
- Peter Garnham
- Jan Davis
- Kanchan Ranadive
- Ben Whiting
- Mitchell Griffin
- Michael Cooper
- Robert Aitchison
- Mike Yarrington
For the full list of candidates see the Maitland Council website.