The Labor Party has announced that it will be standing a mayoral candidate in addition to contenders in each of the three wards at the September 4 local government elections.
Business Port Stephens president Leah Anderson will run for both mayor and east ward as a Labor Party nominee.
"I'm running for mayor because it's time for someone to put our community first. Port Stephens is a wonderful place to live, but I know our real strength is our community," said Ms Anderson, founder of Port Stephens Women in Business, director and volunteer with Port Stephens Koalas.
"We need councillors who genuinely listen; who put our community first. I believe in listening, I believe in supporting our incredible community, and I think it's time for Port Stephens Council to reconnect with our neighbourhoods and local families."
Ms Anderson said that the condition of Port's roads would be a priority issue.
"We will be working out which roads urgently need work, and making sure that council's budget is prioritising this work. The quality of local infrastructure is lagging behind community expectations, and we will make sure that our parks, playgrounds, toilet blocks and every other facility we own or manage meets those expectations," she said.
She stressed that the Labor team would run a clean, fair campaign.
"We will talk about our policies, and make sure people know that they can trust us. We are being upfront, honest and transparent in announcing ourselves as Labor candidates. Other councillors and candidates are in political parties, but run and sit as independents."
Ms Anderson will be joined on the Labor ticket by incumbent west ward councillor Giacomo Arnott, with Medowie's Jason Wells seeking election in central ward.
Cr Arnott, a lawyer and professional firefighter in Raymond Terrace, was first elected to the council in 2017, and is widely-known for leading the community campaign to stop the proposed 66 per cent rate rise in 2019.
"I've spent the last four years on this council fighting to make sure our community's voices are heard, so I'm incredibly proud to be supporting Leah Anderson to be our next mayor."
Mr Wells, a Medowie school teacher, advocate for people living with disabilities and supporter of Medowie Little Athletics, says he would be fighting for improved community infrastructure and services, and ensuring that all Port communities would receive their fair share.
When contacted this week, Port Stephens mayor Ryan Palmer would not be drawn into making any announcement on his future.
"At the moment I'm focused on being the mayor not running for mayor," he said.
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