Tauranga City Councillor Clayton Mitchell has today been named NZ First’s Tauranga candidate for this year’s general election.
The councillor and Mount Maunganui resident was voted in by two NZ First board members and three electorate members during a last minute meeting in Tauranga today.
Tauranga City Councillor Clayton Mitchell will be NZ First’s Tauranga candidate.
He won the candidacy over other NZ First hopefuls Kevin Stone, from Hamilton, and Hylton Rhodes, a former councillor.
NZ First elected Tauranga chairman Edwin Perry says the meeting went ahead last minute despite leader Winston Peters being unable to attend due to a cancelled flight from Auckland.
“We had three candidates. Three votes came from the electorate, so they would of known Clayton locally.
“With a good candidate hopefully we will do very well.”
It is understood Clayton will stay on as a Tauranga City Councillor in the lead-up to the election on September 20.
“I would say Clayton has considered that very carefully, and he has a young family. It wasn’t an easy decision for Clayton - he’s a new councillor and has aspirations to do well for both.”
“There have been other members that have been both councillors and MPs,” says Edwin.
Clayton’s candidacy is expected to be ratified overnight and he will speak with SunLive tomorrow about his campaign.