Former Gundagai mayor Abb McAllister stretches lead in CGRC elections, Cootamundra's Doug Phillips, Charlie Sheahan, Gil Kelly in pursuit

ON THE RISE: Abb McAlister has continued his strong surge at the polling booth overnight to sit 482 votes clear of second-placed Doug Phillips.
ON THE RISE: Abb McAlister has continued his strong surge at the polling booth overnight to sit 482 votes clear of second-placed Doug Phillips.

Former Gundagai mayor Abb McAllister has dominated the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council polling booth across the weekend.

Further counting on Monday saw the Gundagai favourite add to his Sunday tally of 806 with 1183 primary votes, the first ever CGRC candidate to accumulate more than 1000 votes.

As of 4pm on Monday, September 11, the outspoken anti-merger advocate sat 531 votes clear of his nearest rival and would almost certainly regain his former council post.

Cootamundra’s Doug Phillips had firmly entrenched himself as a council contender after doubling his Sunday tally overnight.

The former Cootamundra shire mayor held 652 votes, more than 200 votes clear of third-placed independent Charlie Sheahan (424) and Cootamundra surprise packet Gil Kelly (379). 

Gundagai’s David Graham rounded out the cumulative top five with 275 votes while female trio Leigh Bowden (273), Penny Nicholson (263) and Amy Turner (231) remained strong contenders. 

Counting was expected to take several days as preferences were taken into consideration. 

The NSW Electoral Commission advised a final field of nine councillors to move the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council may not be available until Saturday, September 16. 

In the neighbouring Hilltops Council, Brian Ingram was the only candidate to secure enough votes on first preference alone.

Mr Ingram’s 1462 votes were ahead of former Hilltops Council administrator Wendy Tuckerman on 1215 and John Walker on 1173, which he said was “humbling”.

“They have shown faith in me,” he said. “I am especially pleased with the large number of first preference votes that I have received and I know the community will be looking to me to show the enthusiasm, passion and commitment for the job that I promised leading up to the election.”