Angry Dave Mac wants apology
What do you think of Dave Macpherson withdrawing from the Hamilton mayoral race?
Hamilton council candidate Dave Macpherson wants a formal retraction and apology from council and electoral officials after each issued statements on his campaign yesterday without first checking they had their facts correct.
Mr Macpherson on Saturday confirmed he was no longer campaigning for the mayoralty, saying Ewan Wilson, only 2 per cent behind Ms Hardaker in a new Waikato Times poll on Friday, was the best chance to topple the incumbent.
But electoral officials yesterday seized on the word 'withdrawal' in the Times' coverage, issuing a statement pointing out that candidates cannot withdraw from a ballot once nominations have closed, unless they are incapacitated.
''No evidence of incapacity has been provided to the Electoral Officer and accordingly, Mr Macpherson has been advised that he cannot withdraw his candidacy at this time,'' said a council release quickly posted online by rivals, who paraded the release as evidence of an electoral blunder by Macpherson.
He emailed city council chief executive Barry Harris last night seeking a full retraction and apology, and said the release had hurt his electoral chances.
''At no stage have I ever claimed, in any media, that I was "withdrawing" from the Mayoral election. Nor have I ever been quoted in any media as having said this. Nor has any media ever reported me as having said this,'' he said.
''This statement distributed by the HCC communications staff makes a claim that is untrue, provides no evidence for the claim, falsely sets up an argument that I have never advanced, and was never checked with me,'' he said.
In the middle of a campaign, it could materially affect his chances, he said. ''I have taken the matter of the Returning Officer's comments direct with her - what I take up with you is the wide distribution of a factually incorrect 'media advisory note' by staff under your control,'' said Mr Macpherson.
The Waikato Times has sought comment from Mr Harris and Mrs Pani.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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