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Cr O'Malley came a disappointing fifth in the race for Dunedin's mayoralty, with 5915 votes, after again running a zero-spend campaign during a sometimes-heated election contest.
Yesterday, he told the Otago Daily Times he was "not that despondent'' at the result, but now accepted his campaign had its faults.
"It has basically proven my point, that obviously you probably do actually have to put up billboards.
"It's a bit of an indictment. It basically tells you the voters either can't remember who you are or don't care, without seeing a picture of you.''
However, Cr O'Malley - now entering his second term as a city councillor - said that realisation "doesn't really affect me'', because it was likely to be his last campaign.
He did not think he would run for mayor again, and was "thinking this will probably be my last time on council''.
Instead, he would give the coming term his best shot and was then likely to shift his focus back to his bio-tech interests.
"It's cost me a lot financially to put this amount of time into the council, so it's time to put my efforts back into that again. I think I could have done a lot for the city if I had been the mayor, and I would have committed myself to six years if that had been the case.
"If the voters decided the way they decided, then I think it's a frustrated effort to go back for a third time.''
His campaign had been forced to weather a series of challenges, initially as the Ocho chocolate company - which Cr O'Malley headed as chairman - struggled financially, and later when he found himself at loggerheads with Mr Hawkins on the campaign trail.
That prompted Cr O'Malley to declare during the campaign he would be unable to get anything done under Mr Hawkins' leadership. Yesterday, Cr O'Malley said those barbs were best left on the campaign trail.
"Now the election's over it's time to put those arguments down, and to actually see what the new mayor is going to do.''
That would become clearer today, when Cr O'Malley met Mr Hawkins to discuss potential roles, but he would remain committed to his council duties this term, regardless of the outcome.
"There's no doubt about that. I'll give it my best for this term, because I've got an obligation and responsibility for those who voted for me. It will depend on the environment as to how much affect I can have.''