Graham Quirk Quits
Graham Quirk Quits

Shock names who could replace Lord Mayor candidate

ROD Harding's days as Labor's lord mayoral candidate could be numbered, with moves behind the scenes to have him dumped from the role.

The Courier-Mail can reveal that internal frustration over Mr Harding's performance has peaked in recent weeks.

Mr Harding was to have a ­second run at the mayoralty in September last year after ­reducing former lord mayor ­Graham Quirk's margin by ­almost 9 per cent.

His detractors say he has had a low profile since then with concerns growing over his continued lack of visibility on the hustings - and the lack of a clear campaign message - with just seven months left before the March 28 council elections are held.

Labors former Brisbane Lord Mayoral candidate Rod Harding. Picture: Peter Wallis
Labors former Brisbane Lord Mayoral candidate Rod Harding. Picture: Peter Wallis

Attempts to contact Mr Harding for comment on Sunday night were unsuccessful.

Multiple senior party sources told The Courier-Mail Mr Harding has also recently "stepped away" from his faction, the Right, and has resigned as vice-president of Queensland Labor.

There are also claims Mr Harding has created waves within the party by seeking advice from Shepherdson Inquiry figure Lee Bermingham.

It is understood a move could be made to replace Mr Harding when a suitable alternative candidate is locked in.

7 News political editor Patrick Condren was spotted in the Labor caucus.
7 News political editor Patrick Condren was spotted in the Labor caucus.

Several names have been ­suggested, including Deagon Ward councillor Jared Cassidy, senior Government Minister Kate Jones and journalist ­Patrick Condren.

Mr Condren, best known for his role as 7 News political editor, caused a stir at City Hall recently when he was spotted in the Labor caucus helping with its budget reply.

It sparked speculation within the LNP that he could be ­destined to replace Mr Harding and challenge current Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner at the looming poll.

Kate Jones has also been on the wish list for some in Labor for several months.

But senior party sources said that was unlikely given Ms Jones' role in the Palaszczuk Government Cabinet and the need to hold a by-election so close to next year's state election should she run.

Ms Jones has also consistently insisted she was committed to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Government and to her Cooper electorate.

Cr Cassidy, who is in the Right faction, is considered an up-and-comer in the Labor ranks, having proved himself in the council chamber over the past four years.

He would need to give up his ward to run.



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