FORMER journalist Greg Conkey has emerged as a "dark horse" in the fight for Wagga's mayoral chains.
Cr Conkey, a first term councillor, has refused to publicly declare his intentions but yesterday admitted he was actively considering a tilt at the top job.
Fellow councillor Julian McLaren said Cr Conkey would pose the biggest threat to sitting mayor Rod Kendall and declared Alan Brown “the kingmaker” as would-be candidates continue to jockey for the numbers needed to dethrone the mayor of three years.
Council has been wracked by infighting in recent months, with Cr Kendall coming under fire from a faction of councillors for what they claim is an autocratic leadership style.
Councillors Andrew Negline and Kerry Pascoe have both declared their hand to vie for the top job, while speculation is rife Cr Conkey will throw his hat into the ring on the night.
“I haven’t ruled it out, but I haven’t ruled it in either,” Cr Conkey said. “Everything’s a possibility.”
Cr Conkey’s decision will depend on support from fellow councillors and the fact he does not want to see the job be drawn out of a hat if there is a tie.
“It (contesting mayor) depends on whether there’s support and if people would like me to,” Cr Conkey said.
While ruling out he was in the process of actively canvassing numbers, Cr Conkey said “councillors meet regularly and that (mayoral election) is certainly something (that comes up)”.
Like Cr Kendall, who continues to encourage councillors to challenge for the role, Cr McLaren urged Cr Conkey to “declare his hand”.
“Wagga needs the choice,” Cr McLaren said. “We do need a fresh change at the time of a lot of uncertainty at council. It’s important to get fresh ideas on the ground.”
Mayoral candidates must nominate in writing prior to the start of the next council meeting on September 28.
With two councillors already challenging Cr Kendall, the candidate with the lowest number of votes will be excluded. If there is then a tie, the candidate whose name is drawn out of a hat will be appointed to the position.
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