Auckland’s longest-serving councillor has made a surprise decision to seek re-election, setting up a potentially vote-splitting contest on the centre-left.
Mike Lee had himself intended to retire after three terms as ward councillor, and 27 years in local body politics.
Left-leaning Lee’s decision will pit him against the centre-left City Vision ticket which has already selected local board chair Pippa Coom as its candidate, on the understanding Lee was retiring. …
He said he feared the council’s debt levels would become a pretext for another attempt to sell Ports of Auckland, and he would oppose the proposed Light Rail project, instead favouring an expansion of conventional rail.
Lee said he had thought seriously about a tilt at the mayoralty, but that that was a contest only for those with wealthy backers.
Coom has spent three terms on the Waitemata Local Board, and is the current chair.
She doesn’t see Lee’s decision as pitting left against left.
“I’m a progressive option – I’m backing progressive change and want to work effectively with councillors and the mayor,” Coom told Stuff.
Lee is what I call an honest leftie. He holds Goff to account despite being on the left like Goff.