Dave Mac's gone, so who gets your vote for mayor of Hamilton?
Dave Macpherson has announced his withdrawal from the Hamilton mayoral race, conceding he cannot
Macpherson has asked his supporters to instead vote for Ewan Wilson.
Mr Macpherson, speaking at Frankton Markets this morning, told crowds that after seeing the latest poll results he believed Wilson had the best chance to unseat incumbent mayor Julie Hardaker and urged his supporters to give Wilson their votes.
"I can count," he said afterwards. "My primary objective is a change in the leadership, and I've asked those who haven't yet voted, to vote for Wilson."
"Politics is a hard game, and I know I enthused a lot of people (including new voters) to vote for me and my policies, but the hard cold reality is that there weren't going to be enough of them, and I would have been splitting the anti-Hardaker vote, potentially allowing her to come through the middle to win - and that would be bad for the city in my opinion.
"The Waikato Times polled voters and they showed that while we've picked up support since the last poll Ewan Wilson is closing on Julie Hardaker and has the best chance of winning.
"What's most important is that we have a Mayor who will not install water meters, will listen to Hamiltonians and hold our community and it's people at the core of what council does, while keeping us on the right financial track."
He said no deal had been struck and he told Wilson on Saturday morning of his intention, Wilson told the Waikato Times Macpherson spoke to him this morning, saying "he could do the maths, and while he wouldn't do a deal, he felt he could work with me and he would tell people who had not yet voted, to vote for me."
The latest Times poll has Wilson closing on Hardaker, with 18 per cent to her 20 per cent support but up 8 points in four weeks while the incumbent's support stalled.
Macpherson said he believed he could work with Wilson as mayor, and while his closest supporters were disappointed, he believed Wilson could topple Hardaker.
Hardaker has slammed the move, and said it made a "mockery" of the election process.
"I feel it is disrespectful to the Hamilton public," she said.
"I am confident Hamilton voters will see it for what it is and reject this type of behaviour, the councils of the past have been full of it and Hamilton deserves better."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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