WITH less than a month to go before nominations close, five sitting councillors are yet to confirm whether or not they will run for re-election to Orange City Council.
Councillor Russell Turner is the only one to formally declare his hand for both mayor and councillor positions, while councillor Ron Gander is waiting for a clean bill of health before he formalises his bids for both spots.
Colleagues Jeff Whitton, Scott Munro and Kevin Duffy are expected to run, but have not launched their campaigns.
Councillors Neil Jones and Reg Kidd have already stated publicly they will not re-contest, however, mayor John Davis, deputy mayor Jason Hamling and councillors Glenn Taylor, Chris Gryllis and Ash Brown have not decided whether they will be part of the next council.
Nominations open on Monday, July 31 and close on Wednesday, August 9.
The council will then enter a caretaker period until the election on Saturday, September 9.
Cr Turner, who is likely to run alone, said it was not unusual for sitting councillors to wait longer to declare their intentions.
“It’s the silly season, people are waiting to see who might be standing and to see what the competition might be,” he said.
“Others won’t want to make a decision until they have to. They think the surprise helps them.”
He said he declared his hand early to “get the ball rolling”.
So far, four groups have announced their candidacy, including The Greens, the McRae-Bloomfield team, a ticket led by Luke Sanger and Leiarna Dunworth, and another led by Bernard Fitzsimon.
Matthew Chisholm has announced his solo candidacy.
For the first time, registered political parties and candidates contesting the election will be subject to donation caps of $6100 per donor, while unregistered parties, individuals and third-party campaigners will have a $2700 cap.
Cr Turner said the cap was unlikely to have an impact in Orange.
“It won’t be an issue for me, I’ll will be funding my own campaign totally,” he said.
“Last time I ran on a ticket and a couple of the other members put money in but it was their own money.”
Candidates must also declare if they are a property developer.