A CLOSE race is being run for the position of Singleton mayor.
The well-respected serving councillor John Martin is in tight competition with newcomer to local government and former businesswoman Kylie Stibbard, in her tilt for the top job.
Incumbent Sue Moore is trailing and says she doesn’t expect the returns to improve.
The Electoral Commission website shows that with almost 12,000, first preference votes counted, Ms Stibbard has secured 25.26 per cent of the vote with Cr Martin, a former mayor, on 22.44 per cent.
Cr Moore is on 16.24 per cent with Cr Tony McNamara on 14.05 per cent.
Another former mayor Fred Harvison stood for mayor only and he’s on 12 per cent.
Ms Stibbard is standing for mayor only, while councillors Moore, Martin and McNamara are also contesting councillor positions.
In the counting so far for the nine councillor positions, Cr Martin has returned the highest percentage of votes with 16.06 per cent.
Cr Moore has attracted 13.48 per cent, with long-serving Cr Vall Scott on 13.40 per cent and Cr Tony McNamara on 12.19 per cent.