THE contest to become Bathurst's next mayor appears a race in four at this stage, with two weeks to go until the vote.
Councillors will meet on September 18 to decide which of them will lead council for the 12 months until the full council elections in 2020.
Mayor Graeme Hanger has confirmed he is keen for another term in the city's top job while deputy mayor Bobby Bourke and councillors Jess Jennings and Ian North are also lobbying their colleagues for support.
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Far less clear, however, is where the numbers will fall, nor whether all four will remain in the contest once nominations are formally called.
Cr Hanger, who has held the city's top job since March 2017, said he saw no reason not to seek another term as mayor.
"I'm certainly interested in going again," he said.
"Why wouldn't I? I'm really enjoying the job."
Cr Jennings said there were a number of conversations going on behind the scenes and the numbers were regularly changing.
"I'm considering my options, as are three or four other councillors," he said.
"Being mayor is an absolute privilege and you have to earn the respect of your colleagues to get there.
"But I'm not sure what others are thinking. We will have to wait and see."
Cr Bourke said he had also been speaking to colleagues and "getting a good reaction from most of them".
Cr Bourke said he would support Cr Hanger if he could cobble together the votes needed to retain the job; if not, Cr Bourke would contest the mayoralty himself.
"At the moment, if the mayor stands I will support him but I don't think he will have the numbers and that's the reason I'm putting my hand up as the deputy," he said.
Cr Bourke, who topped the vote at the 2017 council elections, said he believed he had plenty of support within the broader community.
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"The people have elected me with 4500-5000 votes to make a decision and if that means putting my hand up to be a contender then I will."
The state government introduced changes in 2016 that have made all NSW mayoral terms two years, except in council areas where there is a popularly-elected mayor.
But because Bathurst Regional Council did not hold scheduled elections in 2016 due to ongoing amalgamation discussions, the current council term will be three years instead of four and the new mayoral term just 12 months.