Julie Hardaker re-elected as mayor
Julie Hardaker has won the Hamilton mayoralty by almost 3000 votes.
Results to candidates showed Ms Hardaker won 14,700 votes to beat rival Ewan Wilson, who received 11,900 votes.
All four incumbent councillors have been elected in the West: Mr Wilson, Martin Gallagher, Angela O'Leary and Dave Macpherson. Newcomers elected in the West were Andrew King and Leo Tooman.
East ward voters returned Gordon Chesterman, Margaret Forsyth, and elected newcomers Karina Green, Garry Mallett, Rob Pascoe and Philip Yeung.
Roger Hennebry was the sole sitting councillor not to be re-elected.
Meanwhile Hamilton has voted overwhelmingly for fluoridation, with 68 per cent of valid votes in support and 32 per cent against, on early results.
However the city has baulked at adopting single transferrable voting (STV) for the next two elections, 70 per cent favouring first-past-the-post and 30 per cent STV.
Ms Hardaker learned soon after 1pm Saturday that she has been returned to office despite a strong challenge mounted by senior councillor Ewan Wilson.
''It's a much bigger margin than it was last time. Look, I'm not surprised, everything we were hearing, all the talk in the community every where I was going was that people were very supportive of what I've done for the city.''
Ms Hardaker said she had inherited the council at an "all time low" and that her work to turn around its fortunes was the difference in the election.
''Since then I've worked really hard, and the council has really turned the city around in terms of the issues it was facing back then, and I think voters recognised that.''
Mr Wilson said he was happy with his campaign, and thrilled to be returned to council for the West, along with incumbents Angela O'Leary, Dave Macpherson, Martin Gallagher.
''Now I need to jump in and work with the new council for the betterment of Hamilton. Julie won a hard-fought campaign, well done.''
Reflecting on the reasons he had fallen short, Wilson pointed to his past. ''I have to face the fact that opponents will always seek to relitigate a mistake 18 years ago,'' he said.
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