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In another surprising twist to the Clutha District Council mayoral race yesterday, Balclutha businessman Bryan Cadogan lodged a last-minute nomination, bringing the number of contenders to four.
Mr Cadogan (50) was a councillor before challenging Juno Hayes for the top job in 2004 - and losing by only 958 votes.
Family commitments stopped Mr Cadogan from running in the last election, he said, and while family always came first, he realised he missed politics and had been waiting for the 2010 election to roll around.
He believed the district "could be doing better".
Mr Hayes (66) surprised everyone this week by announcing he would stand for a fifth term, two weeks after announcing he would retire.
Deputy mayor Hamish Anderson (49) believes his time to lead the district has arrived, and Balclutha football personality Barry Keith (43) wants to see the district taken in a new direction - a view he shares with Bryan Cadogan. Both are vowing change.
Gore district Mayor Tracy Hicks (57) will be standing unopposed in this election.
In the deep south, Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt (62) faces challenges from Suzanne Prentice (51) and Carl Heenan (35).