For the second time in 10 months the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party has led the way in Orange elections.
Last November Phil Donato won the state byelection and now Shooters party ticket leader Sam Romano has received the most votes in the Orange City Council election.
His party scored about one of every seven votes cast in Saturday’s election.
With the NSW Electoral Commission checking votes on Tuesday ahead of allocating preferences the result of the mayoral race is set to be announced on Wednesday with the 11 successful councillors likely to be announced on Wednesday or Thursday.
Mr Romano and the Shooters ticket had polled 2979 votes [13.76 per cent of the total number cast] on Tuesday afternoon.
That could also be enough for his running mate Mario Previtera to gain election through preferences.
“It’s a great achievement,” Mr Romano said.
“I am very humbled that the people of Orange have voted for me and the party, though it hasn’t been announced as yet that I am going to be elected.”
The Shooters benefited from being Group A, first on the ticket, however Mr Romano downplayed it.
“Group A normally gets between one and three per cent of the votes,” he said.
“It’s just the luck of the draw.”
Mr Romano was elected to the council in 2008 after receiving 1055 votes but lost his seat in 2012 polling 139 votes.
Mr Donato said he had been unsure how the party would fare at a local level and was pleased by the result.
“It’s a good reflection on how the party has been received in the local area,” he said.
Mr Donato said the Orange branch had grown from nothing to about 40 members since the state election.
“He [Mr Romano] is part of a growing dynamic of people we appeal to.”
“I think it is growing but we have to keep working hard.”
Mr Donato said the party backed traditional local government roles such as rates, roads and rubbish and creating jobs to promote the strength of the area.
He also praised party member Alex Christian on being elected as an independent in the Bathurst council election.
“It’s a great story, an underdog story,” he said.