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Field of 15; Late nominations swell Glenelg Shire Council election race.

IT’S not quite as large a field as last time but plenty of candidates have put their hands up to become a Glenelg Shire councillor.

When nominations closed at noon on Tuesday, 15 people had officially entered the race, just four fewer than 2016’s bumper field.

They will be contesting seven seats on the council.

Among them is Mayor Anita Rank, who did not submit her nomination until Tuesday morning, after weighing up whether or not to run.

She was among the last to nominate, along with Karen Stephens, John Northcott, David Wilson, Alan Palmer, George Kozarevski and Malcolm Alexander.

The ballot draw was kindest to sitting councillor Gilbert Wilson, who drew top spot, with those below him (in order) Mr Alexander, Ms Rank, Jayden Smith, Michael Carr, Ms Stephens, Mr Northcott, David Wilson, Chrissy Hawker, Mr Kozarevski, Scott Martin, Alistair McDonald, Geoff White, Mr Palmer and Robyn McDonald.

Six of the seven sitting councillors are running again – Robert Halliday, who has retired, being the exception – while former councillors who are in the race include Merino-based Mr Northcott (2008-2016 and Mayor in 2013-14) and David Wilson (1996-1999).

Mr Alexander has contested the past two elections, while Mr Smith, Mr Carr, Mr Kozarevski, Mr Martin and Mr Palmer are first-time candidates.

Ms Rank has been the Mayor for the entire term of the current council and said “there’s certainly some unfinished business to do”.

“I believe that I’ve done a good job but also that I’ve been part of a team that has done a good job,” she said.

“I think it would be good to welcome some new input, but I still think we need a solid, stable base.”

Economic growth would continue and “we’ll see the benefit of that in the next 12 months”, Ms Rank said.

“It’s also about getting a balance between supporting big industry such as Alcoa and ensuring stability but also being able to support small business that employ Mums and Dads and support families that are hurting at the moment.”

Ms Rank said she was also focusing better recognition for Traditional Owners and on health and wellbeing, where she had been an advocate for creative arts as well as being involved with suicide prevention and the headspace initiative.

● Profiles of the four remaining non-sitting councillors are on Pages 2 and 3 of today’s edition, with a two-part feature on all the candidates appearing next Friday and the following Tuesday.

Voting papers will be sent out to those registered between October 6-8, with the polls closing for the all-postal election at 6pm on October 23. Given the nature of the postal ballot, results will not be declared until Friday, November 13, with the Mayoral election scheduled to take place the following week

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