Labor announces candidates for 2021 Cessnock City Council election

TEAM: Labor candidates for Cessnock City Council, Jay Suvaal (mayoral and Ward A candidate), Anthony Burke (Ward B), Anne Sander (Ward C) and Rosa Grine (Ward D).
TEAM: Labor candidates for Cessnock City Council, Jay Suvaal (mayoral and Ward A candidate), Anthony Burke (Ward B), Anne Sander (Ward C) and Rosa Grine (Ward D).

Councillor Jay Suvaal has been endorsed as Labor's mayoral candidate following the retirement of Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent.

Cr Suvaal, 36, is one of the city's youngest-ever mayoral candidates, and says he hopes his team can bring a "fresh approach" for Cessnock.

Cr Suvaal will be the party's lead candidate in Ward A, with former councillor and Pokolbin small business owner James Hawkins and Bellbird university student Logan Templeton also on the ticket.

The Ward B ticket features current councillor and local celebrant Anthony Burke, Jeff Crebert (a registered nurse from Cessnock) and Tallen Howson (a university student from South Cessnock), and Ward C includes current councillor Anne Sander, Branxton midwife Sophie Palmowski and Abermain office manager Kim Smith.

Kurri Kurri businesswoman Rosa Grine will lead the ALP ticket in Ward D, with Mitchell Hill (an IT support officer from Heddon Greta) and Greg Tisdell (a TAFE teacher from Kurri Kurri).

Cr Suvaal - who grew up in Kearsley and now lives at West Cessnock with his wife and their two young children - said improving local roads will be his main focus.

"Our community is growing and so are the impacts on our local roads. I am focused on improving our local roads and will make sure council has a plan to do this," he said.

He said the Labor team is committed to working together with all councillors for the best interests of the community.

Cr Suvaal thanked Cr Pynsent for his contribution to the community in his nine years as mayor.

"His dedication to the region and strong work ethic really turned our council around," he said.

Meanwhile, independent councillor Allan Stapleford has confirmed that he will contest his Ward A seat again, while the Liberal Party is expected to announce its team in a few weeks' time.

As previously reported, independent councillor Ian Olsen is running for mayor, with a team of candidates in each ward; and the Greens have announced Janet Murray as their mayoral candidate.