SIX out of nine sitting Clarence Valley councillors have been confirmed as candidates for the upcoming local elections to be held on September 8, with three declining to contest their seats.
A total of 17 candidates are now in the running following yesterday's draw to determine the order of names on the ballot paper which was held in Grafton Sin front of a small crowd of candidates and local media.
Councillors Craig Howe, Jim Simmons, Sue Hughes, Karen Toms, Margaret McKenna and Richie Williamson are confirmed contenders, while councillors Ian Tiley, Pat Comben and Ian Dinham will retire from their current roles.
Eleven fresh faces have entered the fray, with Brushgrove resident Independent Rod Morrison being the first name to be drawn from the box by returning officer Cliff Mitchell.
Mr Morrison, who was present for the draw, said it was his first time running for local government.
"I expect it's going to be a steep learning curve," Mr Morrison said afterwards.
Grafton Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Challacombe and former business owner Ursula Tunks will join political newcomers Joy de Roos of Illarwill, independent Michael McIvor of South Grafton, and ecologist Greg Clancy of Coutts Crossing.
Developer Andrew Baker will also be in the race, but was not present at yesterday's draw.
According to the draw, candidates will be listed in the following order on the ballot paper.
Rod Morrison, Margot Scott, Paul Parkinson, Craig Howe, Andrew Baker, Ursula Tunks, Joy de Roos, Jim Simmons, Greg Clancy, Jane Beeby, Sue Hughes, Karen Toms, Michael McIvor, Jeremy Challacombe, Richie Williamson, Margaret McKenna, and Jason Kingsley.
An online poll on our website yesterday indicated 55% of our web users thought some of the current councillors had to be replaced, with 41% indicating a complete overhaul. Just 2% were in favour of retaining all current councillors.
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