By ERWIN CHLANDA
Kim Hopper has withdrawn her candidacy for Mayor instead focusing on a position as “climate councillor”.
This will make little difference to her influence on council decisions because the Mayor too has only one vote, except for casting votes which are rare.
Says Ms Hopper: “I committed to throwing my hat in before Marli [Banks] had announced. I was motivated to make sure there was a woman in the race and also to challenge a continuation of the conservative block.
“Since then Jamie De Brenni has dropped out of the race and it seems more likely that a Centre (left / right) Mayor could be elected which is a workable option for the town.
“It was never [my] plan to run for Mayor, but when it looked like another CLP Mayor might get elected and all we were seeing was male faces in the race I got spurred on to shake that up,” says Ms Hopper in a media release this afternoon.
“People have been conflicted and confused about whether to vote for me or Cr Cocking.
“Now that Cr Banks is in the race representing strong women in leadership, accountability and progress on the library, I feel like between her and Cocking my voter base is represented and me pulling out of that space stops the vote being split.
“I’ll continue to work hard to get elected as a councillor where I will push for climate-smart action in council.
“We need to be doing some rigorous future-proofing and I don’t think council has gone anywhere near close enough to setting good targets or polices to protect it’s assets or our community.
“It’s always been my aim to elevate under-represented issues and the people that are affected by poor policy decisions.
“As a councillor this will be my mandate and I aim to go hard on the issues I represent.”