OUTGOING Mayor Brad Carter will walk away from politics after a resounding loss which he hadn't seen coming in Saturday's Rockhampton Regional Council election.
Mr Carter, the region's inaugural mayor, was disappointed yesterday, saying he hadn't expected "the lack in confidence shown in me" after he captured less than 15% of the mayoral vote, which is being led by Margaret Strelow.
Carter took a Churchillian approach to his defeat, reciting a quote from former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill after he lost the election following the Second World War.
Churchill, responding to his wife's comment the election loss might be a blessing in disguise, reportedly said that if it was a blessing it was "very well disguised".
"That about sums up my feelings," Mr Carter said.
He said it was still early to analyse the causes of the loss, but pointed to other incumbent mayors of similar-sized councils who also saw significant shifts away from them.
Mr Carter also thought the repeated attacks on the functioning of the council organisation, its level of debt and a perception of disunity around the table took a toll.
He doesn't regret defending the council against these attacks.
Despite the nature of the loss, Mr Carter is confident with time his term in charge will be reflected on positively, particularly his leadership during the floods and the level of investment that has been made in critical infrastructure.
"I'm absolutely confident in time the investment this council made during the past four years and the long-term benefits for all residents and ratepayers will be (appreciated)," Mr Carter said.
He said he would spend the next couple of weeks deciding what he would do next, but ruled out any further forays into politics in the future.
Meanwhile, Dominic Doblo said he was disappointed for those who had backed him and his policies. He said the challenge for the new mayor was to keep debt below $250 million and future rate rises in line with CPI.
Former Rockhampton City Council Mayor Lea Taylor said the people of the Rockhampton region had spoken and everyone would now have to see what happened in the future.
Mr Taylor said his team ran a strong and well researched campaign.
- 71,430 voters, 57.5% counted.
- Margaret Strelow 13,117
- Tim Griffin 11,018
- Lea Taylor 7685
- Brad Carter 5823
- Dominic Doblo 2385