Top-placed candidates confident of securing seats
FOUR years ago, a 30-year-old candidate slipped into the Lockyer Valley Regional Council in fifth place, with 6.69 per cent of the vote.
This week, Chris Wilson surged ahead in his bid for re-election and presently holds more than 11 per cent of the vote with 62.69 per cent counted – leading the field by more than 1100 votes.
The sitting councillor said he was “surprised” by the surge in support.
“It a good feeling. The first feeling is a sense of relief,” Cr Wilson said.
He said he felt the big leap from fifth to first in votes could have been due to voters being wary of his young age in 2016, and seeing his work in council had dispelled those fears this time around.
Despite the full count yet to be finalised, Cr Wilson was confident he would secure a position, and said it was “near impossible” to miss out on one now.
The top-polling candidate in the Somerset region is also claiming victory.
Fernvale vet and first-time candidate Jason Wendt has stormed in to secure 13.52 per cent of the vote with 59.21 per cent counted.
Despite having never run for office before, Mr Wendt is polling higher than elected councillors, leading his closest rival Sean Choat by 740 votes.
He described the support from voters as “humbling”.
“People have obviously supported me throughout the whole region,” Mr Wendt said.
He said his work within the community and connections throughout it had given him a positive sense of a strong showing at the polls.
“You can never know until the results comes out, but the feeling was pretty positive,” he said.
On current trends, all sitting councillors running for re-election will be returned, with former council worker Kylee Isidro likely to claim the second open position.
Mr Wendt said he looked forward to working with the councillors – both new and old.
“I think that the guys that are in council have done a reasonable job,” he said.
“There’s two new faces and I’m excited about that.”