It’s election year, so who’s in for mayor?


Election year has only just started but the rumours and guessing about who may stand against mayor Rachel Reese have already begun.

Rachel has confirmed she will seek another term as the region’s mayor but the jockeying for her job from others has already started.

Councillor Brian McGurk hasn’t ruled out standing for mayor again, as he did in 2013, and the Nelson Residents Association are expected to put forward a candidate outside of those currently on council.

There was a rumour circulating that former mayor Aldo Miccio would stand again in 2016, but he has told Nelson Weekly that he has no interest in contesting for his old job just yet.

He moved to Auckland with his family after losing the 2013 election and says he could run for office again, just not this year.

“It’s a definite `no` for this coming election but maybe sometime in the future, possibly when both councils finally amalgamate,” he says.

Brian, a former police chief who “double dipped” and stood for mayor and for council at the last election, is the most likely serious candidate.

He was the highest polling councillor in 2013 and last week refused to rule out a run at the city’s top job in this October’s election.

“A couple of people have asked me, probably at this stage I’d say undecided. I will definitely be running for council though.”

St Arnaud farmer Richard Osmarston also stood for mayor at the last election and confirmed that he will do so again. But in a strange twist, Richard will also seek a council seat in the Tasman District, where he lives.

In Tasman, incumbent mayor Richard Kempthorne says he will stand for a fourth term. “I enjoy it and I think I do a good job, so I’ll be standing again.”

Deputy mayor Tim King says “it’s too early to make a commitment” although he would “probably not” seek the mayoralty.