The Conservatives have elected their candidate for the powerful new position of Mayor of York and North Yorkshire.
Keane Duncan, currently the executive member for highways and transportation on North Yorkshire Council, will now stand to be the first mayor of the combined authority.
Given the political make-up of the county, that must put him as favourite for the role.
Mr Duncan was one of three candidates on the shortlist for Conservative Party candidate.
The other two were York entrepreneur and former chair of the York Conservatives Matt Freckelton, and current police and fire commissioner Zoë Metcalfe.
The final hustings were held at the Bridge Hotel and Spa at Walshford, near Wetherby last night.
Each candidate gave a final pitch and answered questions from members of the party before the vote.
YorkMix understands from a senior source close to the count that the voting was as follows:
- Keane Duncan – 141 votes
- Matt Freckelton – 38 votes
- Zoë Metcalfe – 15 votes.
Given that the membership of the North Yorkshire Conservative Party is around 4,000, the number of people voting was less than five per cent of the electorate.
Mr Duncan, from Malton and a graduate of the University of York, is a journalist who became the youngest councillor in the history of North Yorkshire County Council when he was elected in the Norton ward in 2017.
He was leader of Ryedale District Council from May 2019 to February 2021.
After the vote, Mr Duncan tweeted: “I’m officially the Conservatives candidate, campaigning to become the first Mayor of York and North Yorkshire. I could not be prouder.
“This is my home and I’ll be fighting every day to deliver results.”
He was supported by Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake, who said: “Many congratulations to Keane Duncan on his selection as the Conservatives candidate for the York & North Yorkshire Mayoral election in May 2024.
“Fantastic role offering a wonderful opportunity to boost the economy and bolster efforts to tackle crime in the region.”
The government has pledged £540m of investment over 30 years for the York and North Yorkshire Mayoral Authority.
The directly elected mayor will have the power to spend the money on areas such as transport, education and housing.
Elections are expected in May 2024.
[tptn_list limit=3 daily=1 hour_range=1]