Will James Hansen put his hand up for mayoral election?

THE Fraser Coast's longest-serving councillor has until tomorrow to decide whether he will put his hand up to run for mayor at the upcoming by-election.

James Hansen, who ran for the state seat of Maryborough last year, said part of him wanted to run but another part knew how exhausting it would be.

After last year's gruelling and "gruesome" election, Mr Hansen said he was about 80 per cent sure he wouldn't run - but he was still considering it, he said.

One of Mr Hansen's main concerns was that there was no Maryborough candidate for the role of mayor.

"There's no candidate from the bush," he said.

That is part of the reason why Mr Hansen has not yet ruled himself out of a tilt at becoming mayor.

A vocal supporter of ousted former mayor Chris Loft, who was sacked by Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe in February, Mr Hansen said waiting to see what would happen with Mr Loft's appeal was another reason he had not yet made a decision.

There had been speculation Mr Hansen would run after he performed strongly as a candidate for One Nation against the incumbent state member, Labor's Bruce Saunders, finishing second among the other candidates.

So far, two councillors have put their hands up to run.

Darren Everard and Acting Mayor George Seymour have both announced they will run in the by-election on May 5.

Former Hervey Bay state member David Dalgleish will also run for mayor, along with Jannean Dean.

Tony Pantlin will also be on the ballot.

Mr Loft is due to appeal his sacking in the Supreme Court tomorrow, the same day that nominations close.

Last week, Queensland's One Nation leader Steve Dickson called for the by-election to be delayed until the appeal had concluded.

In a video posted to his Facebook page, Mr Dickson said Mr Loft was fired by Mr Hinchliffe and the State Government for "reasons nobody's too sure about".

"If this court case is successful and Councillor Loft is exonerated, he should be replaced immediately back into that position of mayor," he said.

A spokesman from the Department of Local Government, Infrastructure and Planning declined to comment as the matter was before the courts.

Mr Hansen said he had been weighing up whether to run, but knew how much effort would go into the campaign if he did.

"At the end of the day, I have to do what's best for myself and my family," he said.
 



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