Hamilton's 2013 election race is on
An orderly queue of one has kicked off Hamilton city's 2013 election race.
City theatre director, actor and newspaper delivery contractor Ross McLeod waited at the city's electoral office for 30 minutes early yesterday to become the first person to submit nomination forms and pay the $200 candidacy fee.
Mr McLeod, who stood unsuccessfully for the city council in 2010, said he decided on a campaign months ago and was just waiting for nominations to open. With 2599 votes from east ward voters, Mr McLeod believed that he had punched well above his weight after spending just $64 on his campaign.
His tally was about 40 per cent of the lowest-polling successful candidate.
This time, despite intending to spend not much more, he hoped to do even better, with a large number - at least five - of vacancies this time around.
Mr McLeod said social media was a boon to lesser-known candidates and would drive his effort against big-spending and high-profile candidates.
Hamilton electoral officer Jude Pani said that after Mr McLeod there had been a "flurry" of interest and a stream of potential candidates picking up papers.
Yesterday was the first day nominations could be formally completed, with subsequent checks by electoral officials before candidates were confirmed.
Nominations close at noon on Friday August 16.
"We are encouraging anyone who wants to make a difference in the local community to stand," Mrs Pani said.
Voting papers will be mailed out from September 20 and must be received by the council by midday on October 12.
See Monday's Waikato Times for more coverage on the coming election.