Strictly Ballroom star Paul Mercurio, pictured, has waltzed his way on to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council after a thumping win in the 2020 elections. Cr Mercurio easily beat four other candidates in Watson Ward after polling more than 6000 votes. “I humbly and gratefully accept the role of the next Watson Ward councillor,” he posted online. “Thank you. Now the hard work begins.”
In the hotly contested Briars Ward, Steve Holland, Despi O’Connor and Anthony Marsh were victorious. Cr O’Connor posted a quirky video of herself doing a victory dance and flashing a V for victory sign. Cr Holland posted: “Thank you to the many thousands of Mount Eliza, Mornington and Mount Martha residents who voted for me. I’m very grateful for your support and I’m honoured to have the opportunity to represent our incredible community.”
In Cerberus Ward, Lisa Dixon beat three other candidates, including sitting councillor Kate Roper. “I am overjoyed you have elected me as your Cerberus Ward councillor,” Cr Dixon posted. “Many thanks to those who’ve supported and voted for me to make this passion of mine a reality. The real work is about to begin. My aim is to listen to you, take action and get the result you are looking for. You will be hearing from me soon. In the meantime, I am organising my busy councillor schedule.”
In Nepean Ward, Sarah Race and sitting councillor Hugh Fraser were successful after holding off five other candidates. Cr Race thanked supporters in her post: “We did it, people. Thanks to each and every one for your support and joining the Race. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Former mayor David Gill won Red Hill Ward after beating challengers Claire Thorn, Tim Davies, Melissa Goffin and David Breadmore.
In Seawinds Ward, Kerri McCafferty, Debra Mar and sitting councillor Antonella Celi were successful. Cr McCafferty posted: “To the wonderful Seawinds community, I remain as committed as ever to serving you with honesty, integrity and kindness. I will uphold the values that I promised you through the campaign and together we will work towards a healthy and sustainable Peninsula for everyone. Thank you for your faith in me.” Cr Celi thanked those who voted her back on the council. “I feel very honoured and privileged to return as your councillor. With your strong support, I returned a 24.34 per cent on the primary vote and because of this result I stand here thankful, proud and empowered to serve another term.” Cr Mar said: “Thank you to everyone who helped with my campaign, stood by me and believed in me. Thank you to all for your support and encouragement, and to the wonderful community that got me over the line.”