• Tony Bosworth

Over 70 candidates to contest 12-seat Hawkesbury Council election

They’re off - in a race to grab 12 seats on Hawkesbury Council, and it’s one of the biggest fields we’ve seen for this local election with no less than 10 groups, each running a minimum of six candidates.

There are also 7 independents who are standing as individuals, taking the total to 72.

That total figure may well change upwards though, because although the registration period finished at 12 noon today it’s clear there is one clear loser here and that’s the clunky Electoral Commission website, which seems unable to cope with the action.

So, here’s what we know so far…

The 7 independents are

* Timothy Rymer – Bilpin

* Margaret Miller – Bilpin

* Margaret Tadrosse – Bilpin. Ms Tadrosse is a local businesswoman and the owner of the well-known Bilpin Fruit Bowl

*John Ross – Windsor – he’s a current independent Hawkesbury councillor

*Jim Newton – Mountain Lagoon

* Lichell Farrell – East Kurrajong. Known by most as Lichell Maris, she is a local businesswoman who has been heavily involved in community groups up at Kurrajong Heights

* Sam Ramaci – Bilpin. Well known local business owner, and also does a mean Elvis impression too, as it happens.

10 Groups –

Total of 65 candidates

Plus 7 independents = 72 candidates for 12 seats

The Groups, their number 1 candidates, and how many candidates in total on each ticket

* People Not Parties – Mary Lyons-Buckett - 7

* Cadman Group – Andrew Cadman - 6

* Zamprogno – Nathan Zamprogno - 6

* Les and The Doc – Les Sheather - 6

* Preeti Karan – Preeti Karan - 9

* Greens – Danielle Wheeler - 6

* Labor – Barry Calvert - 6

* The Alliance – Pete Reynolds - 6

* Shooters, Fishers and Farmers – Shane Djuric – 6

*Liberals – Sarah Richards – 7

Of these groups, we’ve had it confirmed preferences will flow from Cadman Group to the Liberals. Cadman Group are also preferencing Les Sheather’s group. We suspect that preferencing will also very much be the case with Les Sheather and The Doc – the latter is a Liberal Party member and Les Sheather has stood for One Nation in the past – but we will confirm that as we dig into the candidates a bit more.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers will only be preferencing smaller parties, potentially Eddie Dogramachi’s Small Business Party, and maybe some others too.

Shooters did very well when their number 1 candidate here, Shane Djuric, stood for the state seat of Hawkesbury and he told us this afternoon, "it's early days but we will only be preferencing the smaller parties". On paper they have a good chance of taking at least one seat in this council election.

An interesting group – because it’s totally new and it’s the biggest – is the one run by Preeti Karan, with a total of 9 candidates. She is a solicitor who runs her own legal business in Windsor and along with her husband Nat – who’s also standing - they own automotive businesses in Windsor and Freemans Reach. We will of course have a full in-depth report on that group as we go through the election run-up, as we will with all the others.

Two no-shows – one definite - are Tony Pettit’s group which we thought might run as Liberal Democrats but he told us earlier this week it would be an independent group. Just before the close of registrations today though, he told us he wasn’t standing at all. A local election without Mr Pettit hardly seems right – he’s been a regular fixture for years across several election campaigns in the Hawkesbury.

There's also Eddie Dogramachi with his Small Business Party - we have a story ready to go about his campaign. But just this morning, as the deadline loomed, he appeared to be having some difficulty getting the names of his group on the EC website. But thankfully, for him, the EC has this evening confirmed he is on the list.

We’ll be delving more deeply into the candidates now, and will have more stories up as this election campaign unfolds over the coming month.

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