Where referenda regarding elected mayors have been held elsewhere in the country, the question of who would be likely mayoral candidates has often been a key issue.
In Middlesbrough, for example, it was clear that Ray Mallon would stand, which certainly contributed to the overwhelming Yes vote in the referendum there.
The Yes campaign realise this, and I understand they've been scurrying around over the past few weeks trying frantically to persuade plausible figures to declare that they would run as independents - alas for them, to no avail.
Only one person, to my knowledge has formally announced that he will run as an independent - the sane and rational Chris Close has declared on the Town Liar this morning that he will be a candidate.
I hope this is something that the Echo pick up on - anyone who wants an insight into the kind of Council and the kind of Darlington we would have under Close's stewardship only needs to look at the outpourings of bile and spite which characterise his posts on the Liar. Council officers with whom he's had run-ins are called liars or criminals (or worse). Just today, Cllr. Ron Lewis, the widely liked Tory Councillor for Mowden has attracted Close's ire (for reasons that are not immediately clear to me). Close writes;
RON LEWIS - TORY HAS ALREADY 'VOTED' WITH THE 'OPPOSITION' - THE COUNCIL BUT THEN HE GOT THE SAME SORT OF ALLOWANCES THE ROBSON GOT. THAT AMOUNT OF MONEY WOULD HAVE ALLOWED ME TO RUN ADVOCACY FOR TWO AND A HALF YEARS. AND BELIEVE ME WE DO A LOT MORE THAN RUNNING AROUND WITH A TOILET CHAIN AROUND OUR NECKS
It's easy to dismiss Close as a bonkers maverick, but he has caused real hurt to a lot of people in the town. And remember, in Hartlepool the monkey mascot got elected. Something for us all to think about on the 27th....