Will there be two vacant seats in Onslow-Western? With John Morrison entering the race for the mayoralty today we had assumed Onslow-Western ward Councillor, Jo Coughlan would pull out of the race given her incredibly slim chances.
But today she posted on Facebook a rather suggestive update that seems to hint she will be entering the race shortly… maybe the biggest tell of the post is that it was immediately ‘liked’ by a family member!
However, we have heard from several well connected sources (many of the same people who rightly tipped us off that Morrison would be entering the race) that Coughlan has her sights on bigger things and has no interest in just being a Councillor again. We have been told that regardless of whether or not she runs for Mayor, Coughlan does not want to run in Onslow-Western again.
As we have said before, Coughlan is not well known outside the National Party/Karori clique and does not have much of a realistic chance of being Mayor. While there is no doubt she would be able to tap the resources to run a campaign, Coughlan would start so far behind the other competitors that it is incredibly unlikely that she could close the gap.
While Morrison would likely benefit from the redistribution of many Coughlan’s preferences, I am sure this will be viewed as an unwelcome distraction on his other flank. We should also note that people do funny things with their preferences, many people dont rank all the left or right people first so while Morrison may seem the obvious home for her votes, it isn’t always that simple. For example, if you look at the tight race in the Lambton Ward last time, Stephanie Cook was bumped ahead of Marcus Ganley by preferences from Sir Michael Fowler.
Either way, it’s time for Coughlan to make her calls.
Will she run for Mayor? Will she run in Onslow-Western?