Seven candidates have entered the ring for the Hawick and Denholm seat on Scottish Borders Council, writes Bob Burgess.
The by-election on May 22 resulted from the death in February of Conservative councillor and former provost Zandra Elliot.
She was one of three councillors representing the area – the others are the SNP’s Alistair Cranston and Stuart Marshall.
Bidding to retain a Tory presence in Hawick and Denholm is former Buccleuch Hunstman Trevor Adams from St Boswells. Since 2004 he’s operated a fallen stock business, helping farmers following a European ban on burying carcasses.
Trying to make the seat a totally SNP patch is local High Street hairdresser Harry Stoddart, while entering the fray for Lib Dems is former local policeman Ian Turnbull.
Another former policeman with his hat in the ring is one-time divisional commander Watson McAteer, who stands as an independent.
Also on an independent ticket is Hawick Community Council chairperson Marion Short, who worked for the local authority for around 40 years, and the youngest candidate, 21-year-old Craig Bryson, from Burnfoot.
Completing the seven contenders is Davie Paterson jnr, the son of Hawick’s longest serving councillor, also Davie Paterson.
Politics with a capital P won’t play a major part in the battle for this seat. The main issues on which the candidates will have to declare their hand is how to attract jobs, how the area can be regenerated, and the tough issue of how to breath new life into the High Street.
And electors will have plenty of opportunities to quiz candidates, with former councillor Andrew Farquhar organising a number of hustings in the build-up to the polls.
He commented: “These will be an opportunity for the candidates to introduce themselves and each explain what makes them tick.”
Polling takes place on May 22 between 7am and 10pm, with the electronic count being held at SBC’s headquarters in Newtown St Boswells from 10.30am on Friday 23.
z Trevor Adams, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
z Craig Bryson, Independent
z Watson McAteer, Independent
z Davie Paterson, Independent
z Marion Short, Independent
z Harry Stoddart, Scottish National Party (SNP)
z Ian Turnbull, Scottish Liberal Democrats