POLL: Rumours have it Councillor Loft could run for Mayor
WITH just six months to go until ratepayers cast their votes, Mayor Gerard O'Connell has yet to decide whether he will run again.
But another councillor is gathering support for what could be an expensive campaign.
Maryborough councillor Chris Loft has sought financial backing to run for mayor of the Fraser Coast in next year's elections.
Who would you like to run for Mayor?
This poll ended on 21 October 2015.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Rumours are swirling that Cr Loft will make the announcement soon that he will stand for mayor.
The Chronicle understands Cr Loft has been considering the top job since June, and is recruiting his supporters to run as endorsed candidates in several divisions.
Beach House and Carriers Arms Hotel owner Warren Persal confirmed to the Chronicle he had been speaking with Cr Loft about financial backing.
"We've talked about it but I don't think anything has been decided," he said.
"He might do a better job.
"He's had a local business before, he's an accountant and when you ask him a question you get an answer."
In 2012 Cr Loft was elected to division three on the Fraser Coast Regional Council by the narrowest of margins, defeating Paul Truscott by two votes.
Sitting Mayor Gerard O'Connell, who received financial support from Mr Persal in the 2012 campaign, was reluctant to comment on Cr Loft's plans, but said anyone was entitled to stand.
"I always think when people offer themselves for leadership or public service at the elected level that is a good thing," he said.
Cr O'Connell said he would make a decision "in the coming weeks" on whether he would stand again.
"I certainly realise I need to and I will," he said.
"I've got the job until March - it's a job I love, I believe I could make a contribution that's why I put my hand up.
"I will assess for my family's sake and for myself whether I'm in a position to commit and to ask the people if they will give me another time to do it."
Cr Loft did not respond to the Chronicle's request for comment.