Competition; new candidates

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Mayoral candidate Bryan Cadogan will be running opposed at this election as Bruce Graham, Chris McDonald and Gail Oats have stepped up to the table.

There are 20 new faces running for council seats after councillors Mel Foster (Lawrence›Tuapeka ward), Lloyd McCall (West Otago), Carol Sutherland (Balclutha) and deputy mayor Stewart Cowie (Clutha Valley) confirmed they were stepping down.

John Herbert, who had earlier indicated he would step down, will run as a candidate for West Otago once more.

Mrs Oats is also standing for the Kaitangata›Matau ward, as is Bruce Graham.

All council and community board seats will require an election this triennium, as only the Lawrence›Tuapeka Community Board has received the exact number of nominations required (six).

Challengers of note include Kevin Barron of the Clutha Residents and Ratepayers Association, who is standing for one of four Balclutha ward seats, against incumbents Wayne Felts, Alison Ludemann and Ken Payne, and newcomers Brodie Dodds, Changrong Dong, Paul Hanlon, and Beth Linklater.

The council removed Mr Barron from its Clutha Community Hub project in 2018 following allegations of ‘‘belligerent’’ behaviour, which Mr Barron has strenuously denied.

Mayoral candidate Chris McDonald, a Milton store owner, has also been a vocal critic of the council, in regards to its handling of the $5 million›plus Milton main street upgrade.

In West Otago, Michelle Kennedy is a surprise nomination, having stepped down as a councillor mid›term in December 2020 for health and professional reasons.

Voting for this year’s local government elections begins Friday, September 16, and runs to noon on election day, Saturday, October 8.