Maitland has its first ever female mayor, with Labor’s Loretta Baker elected after Independent rival Philip Penfold conceded defeat late Wednesday afternoon.
Cr Baker, who will officially take over the mayoral reins at the next meeting of council, told Fairfax Media that Cr Penfold rang her at about 6pm to concede defeat.
Cr Baker said she was “very grateful to the people of Maitland”.
“I’m excited, proud, humbled – a mixture of all those things,” she said.
She said being a part of Maitland’s history by being named the city’s first female mayor was “just a bonus”.
“It was a really hard fought campaign, I really want to thank the people of Maitland and I’m looking forward to working for them and the city of Maitland.”
Cr Penfold reportedly contacted Cr Baker to concede after Liberal preferences made it impossible for him to overtake the Labor candidate. Cr Baker held a lead of about 1500 first round votes ahead of preference distributions.
Counting will continue for several hours, with the official numbers to be released Thursday morning.