A TOTAL of 19 candidates will contest eight seats on Kempsey Shire Council on September 8.
Seven of them will run also for the position of mayor.
A flurry of activity on Tuesday afternoon at the Belgrave St election office brought a big increase in the number of nominations.
From this emerged the sole formal group of candidates, headed by sitting councillor and mayoral candidate Dean Saul.
The grazier from Seven Oaks is joined by Shiela Peet, Darren Kerr, Angela Dixon and Harold Hooper, whose names will appear in the Group A list to the left of the ballot paper.
Also declaring their nominations for council seats on Tuesday were businessmen Anthony Patterson and Lou Kesby.
Mr Patterson and Mr Kesby consulted closely with one another before deciding to stand, and have indicated their support for fellow member of The Nationals Liz Campbell to continue in her role as mayor.
As expected, Cr Campbell formalised her intention to stand as a candidate for mayor and councillor.
Another sitting councillor, Jenny Sproule, added her name to both voting lists on Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday afternoon, a few hours after the deadline for nominations had expired, returning officer Allan Wilcox carried out the draw for the order of how the candidates names will be listed on ballot papers.
In the first ever mayoral election to be decided by Macleay voters, Jenny Sproule will be at the top of the list. Dean Saul will be at the bottom.
As head of the only group, Cr Saul’s name will top the list of candidates for councillor on the left of ballot papers.
Lou Kesby’s name will head the list of individuals to the right of ballot papers, with James Burnett’s last.
All 19 nominees are standing for election as independent candidates.
In their candidate papers submitted to the returning officer, James Burnett, Liz Campbell, Alan Snowsill and Anthony Patterson have declared their membership of The Nationals.