There can only be one mayor
As the South Waikato local body election results began to come in it became evident the four horse race had become that of two.
Former deputy mayor Jenny Shattock, who has now been elected mayor, and Tracey Deane were the clear frontrunners which showed after 98 per cent of the votes were counted.
Shattock claimed 2,972 and Deane 1,806, while Alan Blair and Jarrad Gallagher lagged somewhat behind with 962 and 210 respectively.
Deane said she was disappointed for her supporters that she was not elected.
‘‘It was an honour to stand for them and I am sorry I haven’t done it for them because they waited three years to try and get me over the line,’’ she said.
She said the results surprised her.
‘‘At the moment it is looking a little unusual that my number has gone down a bit. I would have thought it would have been a bit more or the same, not down, but we will have to wait and see what happens later in the week,’’ she said.
Deane said she doesn’t have any plans in place yet but she could potentially stand again in three years if people wanted her to.
‘‘Three years is a long time but anything can happen,’’ she said.
She said that although she was unsuccessful, people made her campaign worthwhile.
‘‘I just loved the people and meeting so many of them so I thank them from the bottom of my heart. They were worth every raindrop and gust of wind,’’ she said.
Gallagher said he was not surprised by the results and wished Shattock well.
‘‘I was the outsider but I am in this for the long hall and I don’t intend to go away,’’ he said.
He said he plans to continue working as a property developer in the area and working closely with the council to see the district move towards a more positive future.
Although disappointed Blair said it was a privilege to live in a democracy and he too congratulated Shattock.
‘‘They have gone for experience that is for sure,’’ he said.
‘‘I was expecting to win, I would not have stood if I didn’t think I could have but life goes on.
‘‘This is the end of my political aspirations but there are other opportunities out there in the community,’’ he said.
Mayoralty: Jenny Shattock (2,972 votes).
Tirau Ward: Peter Schulte (236).
Putaruru Ward: Gray Baldwin (1,049), Herman Van Rooijen (1,011), Adrienne Bell (865)
Tokoroa Ward: William (Bill) Machen (2,086), Jeff Gash (1,939), Arama Ngapo-lipscombe (1,651), Thomas Lee (1,616), Marin James Glucina (1,543), Wendy Cook (1,344).
Tirau Community Board: Cassandra Robinson (443), Derek Keesing (377), Clive Collingwood (315), Sharon Burling-claridge (226).
From left unsuccessful mayoral candidates Tracey Deane, Jarrad Gallager, and Alan Blair and new mayor Jenny Shattock.