For keen observers of the council election on March 16 things just got a whole lot more interesting. Jim Madden resigned from state parliament on January 26 with immediate effect and announced he will run as a candidate for Division 4. Madden is no stranger to a council chamber having been a councillor on Somerset Regional Council from 2012 until he was declared elected as member for Ipswich West on 12 February 2015.
In a statement he said he had received a number of queries as to whether he had considered standing as an independent candidate for council and he expected a by-election for Ipswich West to occur on council election day.
“I genuinely love the city of Ipswich, where I was born and raised.
“But I have become increasingly concerned as to the direction of Ipswich City Council.
“I also want to see progress accelerated with major projects in Division 4, such as the redevelopment of the North Ipswich Reserve and the construction of Norman Street Bridge,” he said.
If name recognition counts for anything it counts for getting votes from the undecided voter. The position on the ballot paper may also score the candidate a few extra. Incumbents are generally returned, unless of course they have been mired in controversy or scandal, so we could safely assume sitting councillor Russell Milligan will be back for a second term. The other councillor in Division 4 is Kate Kunzelmann who announced her intention to retire from council in March.
This leaves the second divisional councillor spot a race between Susan Dunne, David Cullen and Jim Madden. Others may still come forward. It will come down to who mounts the strongest campaign with Madden and Cullen already having established a public profile. Dunne ran previously and can’t be ruled out. Will it be a case of vote for the experienced politician and former councillor or bring in another fresh face to the council chamber?
Either way we can expect a new round of jostling in the next term of council. Got something to share? Contact Inside Ipswich email@example.com