Kip­pin mulling may­oral tilt

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

NEXT year’s coun­cil elec­tion could be a four- horse race with for­mer Townsville En­ter­prise chief ex­ec­u­tive David Kip­pin and in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor Pat Ernst con­sid­er­ing run­ning for mayor.

Mr Kip­pin, who has been do­ing con­sult­ing work since leav­ing Townsville En­ter­prise last year, said he was con­sid­er­ing run­ning as an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date for the may­oralty or a coun­cil­lor di­vi­sion.

The for­mer ac­coun­tant nearly ran as part of the Townsville First team in 2012 but in­stead de­cided to take the job with the Townsville En­ter­prise. Mr Kip­pin said he had not been ap­proached to run as part of any team for next year’s elec­tion.

“I made a com­mit­ment when I left Townsville En­ter­prise that I would try to do some­thing for the city,” Mr Kip­pin said. “I don’t say never to any­thing but it’s prob­a­bly more un­likely than likely. No one’s spo­ken to me yet.”

Mr Kip­pin said he be­lieved beat­ing Mayor Jenny Hill would be a tough task, which was re­flected in the fact that a num­ber of high- pro­file busi­ness lead­ers had turned the op­por­tu­nity down.

“Any­one go­ing against Jenny would be think­ing long and hard about it,” he said.

Cr Ernst, the only in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor in this term of coun­cil, didn’t rule out chal­leng­ing for mayor. “I can con­firm I’m def­i­nitely run­ning – in what form that might take I haven’t de­cided,” he said.

As re­ported in the Bul­letin on Satur­day, the Townsville First team has set­tled on a may­oral can­di­date but wouldn’t re­veal the per­son’s iden­tity. Townsville First coun­cil­lor Tony Par­sons said he would not con­test the may­oralty and would in­stead re­con­test his coun­cil di­vi­sion as part of the re­vamped team.

David Kip­pin may run for mayor.

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