Pyke's election dilemma: Me or him?

By Doug Laing doug.laing@hbtoday.co.nz

2 comments
ELECTION WAIT: Cr Michelle Pyke, whi has missed out on re-election according to preliminary results. PHOTO/FILE
ELECTION WAIT: Cr Michelle Pyke, whi has missed out on re-election according to preliminary results. PHOTO/FILE

Likely deposed Napier City councillor Michelle Pyke is saying little as she clings to a slim hope of getting back for a third term.

Ms Pyke, the second-highest polling candidate for the council three years ago, has provisionally come in at No 7 in the race for the six Councillor-At-Large positions on the Council, which has six other members from four localised wards.

With an estimated 98 per cent of about 18,000 votes counted, Ms Pyke was 262 in arrears of fellow incumbent Keith Price, and did not appear to be relishing the possibility of clawing-back the deficit at his expense.

Unable to be contacted by Hawke's Bay Today yesterday afternoon, Ms Pyke posted on facebook late-afternoon, saying that subject to a change in the final result - "and I'm conflicted about possibly bumping out Keith Price" - she thanked Napier for six years serving the city.

She trhanked those who "DID tick for me" and had special thanks for her main supporters over the last three years - "in particular because you all got me this far."

"I'm saying nothing else for now," she said.

Earlier, Mayor Bill Dalton, who had been re-elected unopposed, said he would miss Ms Pyke's "empathy with the people on struggle street."

Immersed in council affairs and chair of its regulatory committee, Ms Pyke possibly suffered most from Napier's lower voter turnout, without a Mayoral election and with one ward councillor also re-elected unopposed.

Mayoral bids alongside her two previous council campaigns would have helped the profile.

The lone challenge in 2010 to what became the last term of Mayor Barbara Arnott, helped her to election as the fifth-highest polling candidate with 7427 votes, but with council performance also on the curriculum vitae by 2013 she increased her support at the nesxt election to claim the second-highest council count of 9298 in 2013. She had 7196 in the preliminary count yesterday.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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