In the race for the top job at the Mareeba Shire Council (MSC), neither Edward “Nipper” Brown or Angela Toppin are willing to concede defeat or announce they had officially won the mayoral job at the 2020 MSC local elections.
Early yesterday morning Nipper Brown released a statement on social media saying: “It has been a humbling experience and a huge honour to represent the Mareeba Shire for the past 6 years. Thanks to all for your support over the last couple of months. I want to take this opportunity to especially thank my wife and family for allowing me to do it and be absent a lot of the time. Time for a new chapter in life.”
Angela Toppin also released a statement on Sunday saying: “I have been contacted by a lot of people with well wishes, congratulations and prayers this morning. I am humbled by so much support.
However as I went to bed last night, 40% of the vote was still to be counted. Counting has resumed this morning at 10am and I am waiting to hear the outcome.
I thank you for your belief and support and we will know more as the day progresses.”
Later on Sunday afternoon, Councillor Brown was sounding a tad more optimistic when he narrowed the lead between himself and Councillor Toppin saying “I’m not conceding anything, I’m 800 behind and the chance of overcoming that with another 40 per cent of the vote to be counted is probably unlikely, but I’m not conceding ”
“That line about time for a new chapter in my life on social media could be about the Mayor’s position if the numbers come in right,” he said
By late Sunday night, the lead had shrunk down to only 636 votes, between Councillors Brown and Toppin with 70 per cent of the votes counted.
Nipper said “If I do happen to win my first job will be to help people suffering through the Coronavisus crisis, by taking a 50 per cent pay cut,” he said.
“I would also like to think we could defer or freeze rates for the short term to help people.”
Mr Brown says the reason the voting was so tight for the mayoral race was due to the quality of the candidates “There were two good candidates, two different people, both coming from a successful MSC”
The praise is something Councillor Angela Toppin agreed with “I believe that the shire had two good candidates,” she said
“Before Nipper and I stood, we both agreed it would be good for the shire to have some choice rather than just one person standing for mayor”
“I always expected that it wasn’t going to be a one-sided result.”
Ms Toppin claimed that another reason it was so close and why all the incumbent councillors were going to be voted back in was due to the success of the current MSC under Mayor Gilmore. “Tom ran a very successful shire and was a very strong mayor and with him announcing that he wasn’t running, residents then had to decide as to who do we want then?”
“Mayor Gilmore was a very strong leader and he did so much for Mareeba”
As of Sunday night Ms Toppin said “I’m not making any comments until the ECQ makes an official announcement”
Results correct at time of publication