Cairns Unity team eyes Cairns Regional Council prize
Mr James said he would run in Division 4, which swallowed most of his old division after the council merger at the last election. Although Mr James was reluctant to name any candidates until closer to the election, it is understood Unity is hoping to recruit a number of independent candidates who have already put their hands up to run. But the team could face competition from another conservative ticket, with Deputy Mayor Margaret Cochrane set to announce her team later this month.
It is understood both teams are interested in several of the same independent candidates in some divisions. And the competition between Unity and Cr Cochrane’s team could extend to the ballot box, where conservative votes could be split between the like-minded tickets.
"Everyone’s entitled to run and that’s not going to bother us," Mr James said.
Despite speculation, Mr James said neither Bob Manning nor Bob Norman had come forward as mayoral candidates but talks were in progress for Mr Manning to run as a divisional candidate. He said the team would like to have former mayor and Unity team leader Kevin Byrne back as the mayoral candidate. "Obviously we would like him to run but he’s made it clear that he’s happy up there," Mr James said, referring to Mr Byrne’s posting in Port Moresby.
Mr Byrne, who was dumped by voters at the 2008 election, said it was too early to announce if he would run again. The Unity team is expected to make an announcement about its team members in the new year.
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