LIZ Campbell appears set to retain office, with about one in three voters having given her their first preferences in the Kempsey Shire Council mayoral election.
With several hundred postal votes yet to be counted as of yesterday afternoon, Cr Campbell was comfortably ahead of nearest rival Betty Green by a ratio of more than two-to-one.
With 32.48 per cent of the total first preferences, she is in pole position to become the first popularly elected leader of the council.
Cr Campbell said she was pleased with the support she had received.
“I’m feeling reasonably confident (that I’ll be declared Mayor),” she told The Argus yesterday.
“But I’ll wait until the polls are declared.
“I’ve reached the quota as councillor and what was particularly pleasing was that the votes came from the whole of the Macleay Valley. It’s what I’m really passionate about.
“I’m not a single issue or single location candidate.”
Cr Campbell said she felt the support she had received from voters was a result of her term in office and her campaign.
“I didn’t go out door-knocking,” she said.
“I just got on with my job.”
Cr Campbell acknowledged Cr John Bowell for standing aside to allow her a run at the mayorship, allowing her experience in the role.
“I knew I would have only 12 months’ experience ahead of the election, but if I’m confirmed as mayor again, I’ll go into the role with a lot more confidence and more validated,” she said.
Returning officer for the Kempsey shire election, Alan Wilcox, is expected to name Cr Campbell as mayor of Kempsey Shire Council at the official declaration today.