ONE of the last council election’s most popular candidates has announced he will stand again and it might even be alone.
Councillor Russell Turner has announced he will run on September 9 both as a councillor and popularly-elected mayor.
“I am expecting that as a number of councillors have indicated either officially or unofficially that they will not be standing, and given that some may not be re-elected, there will be a good balance of existing and new councillors,” he said.
“I am confident that with my years of experience both as a councillor and my time as the state member for Orange over 15 years, I can and will continue to make a positive contribution.”
Cr Turner’s ticket was the most popular at the 2012 poll, with three candidates elected.
This time, he may run alone, saying running mate councillor Scott Munro was likely to run his own ticket, while councillor Ash Brown was unlikely to run.
He disagreed with the ticket system due to the high number of candidates.
“People don’t realise it’s virtually impossible to get people elected beyond the third spot – the others are only standing there as a token because once you run a ticket, you must run six candidates,” he said.
“I believe the system needs to be reviewed to have less candidates to encourage more to run as individuals.”
He was buoyed by the support he received at the last election and growth would be his key focus if re-elected.
“I’m a strong believer the state government should develop a plan for the major regional cities such as Orange, Dubbo, Tamworth and Wagga heading towards populations of 100,000,” he said.
“I moved to Orange in 1973 and I’ve seen the population double and I believe it could double again provided we get money for major infrastructure projects.”