Councillors in mayoral race

CHINESE whispers in Gladstone have one councillor considering running against acting mayor Gail Sellers in an effort to boost support for the deputy position.

The Gladstone Regional Council mayoral position is up for grabs following the resignation of George Creed last week, with Cr Sellers already publicly stating she intended to nominate for the position.

While not one of the councillors that spoke with The Observer yesterday named themselves, nor another councillor, for the mayoral candidacy, some hinted the rumours could be true.

Reliable sources have pointed the finger at Cr Craig Butler as seriously considering throwing his hat into the ring, however The Observer was unable to contact Cr Butler yesterday.

Many of the councillors were in support of the concept of Cr Sellers being the only candidate because it would mean ratepayers’ money would not be spent on voters having to go to the polls.

“If Gail is unopposed, it will save the ratepayers between $150,000 and $250,000,” Cr Matt Burnett said.

“That’s the best outcome,” Cr Lyn Paton said.

“Gail has my 110 per cent support.”

Cr Col Chapman said part of the democratic process of Australian politics was that anyone had the right to put their hand up.

He said the last election’s polls showed great support for Cr Sellers from the community and she had done a great job as acting mayor.

At the last election, Cr Sellers received the most councillor votes, followed by Cr Burnett, Cr Chapman, Cr Rick Hansen, Cr Brushe, Cr Butler, Cr Paton and Cr Clyde Cameron.

“If anyone stood against Gail, it would only be to raise their own profile,” Cr Chapman said.

“I don’t think anybody would want to take away the democratic right of people to vote for a mayor,” Cr Maxine Brushe said.

A returning officer is expected to be appointed by council by the end of the week to independently run the mayoral by-election.

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