Whitton predicts move towards party politics after pro-Shooters vote

Councillor Chris Gryllis, pictured with his daughter Irene, is prepared to lose his seat on Orange City Council. Photo: TRACEY PRISK

Councillor Chris Gryllis, pictured with his daughter Irene, is prepared to lose his seat on Orange City Council. Photo: TRACEY PRISK

SOME incumbent councillors have already farewelled any hope to regain their seat on Orange City Council, while others believe preferences later this week will be their saving grace.

Councillor Chris Gryllis ran as an ungrouped candidate and received just 244 primary votes at the time of publication, when the quota is currently at 1737. 

“I’ve accepted I won’t be a councillor any longer but if it happens, it will be a bonus,” he said.

Cr Gryllis noted he received 1396 primary votes for the mayoral position.

“One would expect people to vote for you as a councillor as well, but that didn’t happen,” he said. 

“I’m very grateful to the ratepayers of Orange who have supported me.”

Also not expecting to be elected was councillor Ron Gander after he suffered a fall in the lead-up to polling day and ended up in hospital.

His team received 428 first-preference votes and he gained 134 votes personally. 

“I wasn’t able to put my heart and soul into it,” he said.

“I was hoping to get some of my team on.”

Councillor Jeff Whitton, who received 295 votes and another 466 votes through his team, was more hopeful below-the-line preferences would come his way following analysts’ advice.

You’ll probably find next election the majority are politically-affiliated tickets - Councillor Jeff Whitton

“They think it will come down to three positions and four candidates, being myself, Glenn Taylor, Scott Munro and probably the number two on the Shooters, because while they potentially have a quota for a second person, the majority of their votes are above the line and they’ll struggle to get preferences below the line,” he said. 

Cr Whitton said the result flew in the face of previous beliefs voters did not want party politics on councils.

“The Shooters and Fishers might have two, The Greens will get one on and the ratepayers association is an endorsed ticket, which is not dissimilar to a political party,” he said.

“You’ll probably find next election the majority are politically-affiliated tickets.”

Councillor Scott Munro was also hopeful after receiving 707 group votes and 151 personal votes, but believed promising to freeze rates was not the way to win.

“If you cancel rate rises, you won’t get government funding,” he said.

“I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved in the last five years.”

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