Although the result is "pretty gutting", Dani Lebo said she's grateful for the support received during her election campaign and after results were released.
The Whanganui District Council candidate had the unlucky honour of finishing 13th in this year's local elections, just missing the cut-off to be selected for a spot at the council table.
Lebo said she originally felt like an outsider vying for council but soon saw her campaign pick up interest in the community.
"As it went on I got more support and started to get a bit of confidence, but you can never be confident in these types of things especially if you are a left-leaning candidate in Whanganui because Whanganui tends to vote very conservatively.
"It was nice to have people I had never met before sending me messages afterwards to say they were really behind me.
"It's nice to see there are other people out there who have a similar vision for Whanganui, a vision that is diverse, young and proactive."
Lebo received 4248 votes, finishing 244 votes behind 12th-placed candidate Graeme Young.
Looking back at the experience, Lebo said she was proud to run a campaign she truly believed in.
"I spent about $1600 and crowdfunded about $1000 of that," she said.
"I'm about being really thrifty and being conservative with money but progressive with beliefs.
"[Running for council] doesn't have to be a blood sport where you're spending tons of money and making a huge environmental impact."
Lebo said although she has support to put her name down for the next election, she hasn't made any decisions yet but, one way or another, will have some involvement in local government again.
"There's a lot of work to be done in increasing voter turnout and getting people to feel connected to council, and unfortunately a reason why people don't feel connected is because council doesn't represent us as a community right now in terms of demographic.
"It's the chicken and the egg situation where people feel disengaged from council because they look at council and say 'I don't know any of those people and they don't represent me', so they don't vote but then people who might actually represent them don't get on.
"There's a lot of work to be done in getting people to understand the role of local government and getting people to feel really connected so they are more likely to vote later, but that's across the whole country also."
In the meantime, Lebo is keeping busy with a new baby and running The Eco School with husband Nelson Lebo.