Waipā mayoral race predicted

Mayoral candidates? l-r Philip Coles, Susan O’Regan, Jim Mylchreest, Liz Stolwyk, Marcus Gower.

Waipā looks set for a mayoral contest for the first time in six years at October’s local body elections.

The News revealed exclusively last August that Jim Mylchreest planned to stand for a fourth term and while no other candidates have come forward yet, it is understood at least four councillors are considering standing against him.

They are deputy mayor Liz Stolwyk and councillors Marcus Gower, Susan O’Regan and Philip Coles. All told The News they had not made their minds up yet.

Nominations close for the mayor and councillors on August 12. Candidates must be over 18 and enrolled to vote in the area they want to be a candidate for.

Waikato District will get a new mayor – Alan Sanson announced this week he would not stand again.

Mylchreest stood unopposed three years ago and in 2016 he easily beat Vern Wilson, the only other  candidate, by 4500 votes. He was first elected in 2013 by 600 votes in a field of four including Patrick Bishop, Dennis Finn and James Parlane.

The drums for a change of mayor are thumping loudest in Cambridge where the last ‘local’ to be mayor was Te Miro drystock farmer John Hewitt from 1995 to 2001.

Of the four mayors since the formation of Waipā district, three had Te Awamutu links: Bruce Berquist, Alan Livingston and Mylchreest.

Cambridge Community Board chair Sue Milner last month went public with her concerns about the council being too “Te Awamutu-centric” and others in Cambridge share her views.

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