Dr Reynold Macpherson said it was time to take stock after his loss to Steve Chadwick, but Rotorua had not seen the last of the Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers group.
The Rotorua mayoral candidate said it was an exceptional effort by the group to do as well as it did.
Dr Macpherson came second to Mrs Chadwick in the Rotorua mayoral race, receiving 5652 votes to Mrs Chadwick's 7880 when the progress results were released on Saturday after about 98 per cent of votes were counted.
Rob Kent, who was previously a member of the group before standing as an independent, was third with 3006.
Dr Macpherson told the Rotorua Daily Post he was relaxed and had accepted the judgment of the public.
He said the group would go away and analyse their campaign and learn from the mistakes they had made and many of the group's candidates were new to politics and had to learn quickly.
"In three to four weeks we'll decide how to carry it forward from here."
In the meantime he plans to take a holiday and meet his 9-month-old grandson for the first time.
"The wisdom I'm getting from all corners is it was an extraordinary achievement to get as close as we did and its very important to carry on.
"Some of the councillors we have currently got are passengers and do very little for the community.
"The residents and ratepayers [group] have learned a great deal from this campaign and are going to remain because we know we represent the interests of so many different groups.
"My future role - I'm not at all sure about that, I'm about to take three weeks off to see my 9-month-old grandson, my fourth grandchild, who I haven't seen before.
"I'll then come back and gather the people together and see what they want to do. I'm responsible to them and what they want will guide my actions."
But, he said he was delighted to see group candidates Peter Bentley and Raj Kumar make it onto council.
"Peter has a few strings to his bow, particularly his role on the Sensible Sentencing Trust . . . and Raj has a fantastic personality and is also a pretty shrewd character," he said.
Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers results
- Dr Reynold Macpherson second in mayoral race
- Peter Bentley and Raj Kumar elected to Rotorua Lakes Council
- Julie Calnan, John Dyer, Shelly Riach-Fischer and Rosemary MacKenzie missed out
- Election results as at 3pm Sunday