Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s newest mayoral candidate Pam O’Donnell says she will not apologise for having a family which likes to get involved in helping the community and holds multiple high positions.
Her comments come after Mayor John Bowler said she had told him she would not run for mayor because there “are too many O’Donnells in positions of power”.
Cr O’Donnell announced on Friday she would run for mayor in the October election, while announcing she had separated from her husband, Liberal State Member for Kalgoorlie Kyran O’Donnell.
Mr Bowler said he was surprised to hear she was running, claiming she had recently told him she would not be. However, he still wished her all the best.
Cr O’Donnell said her separation meant she now had more time on her hands to commit to running for mayor.
“Earlier in the year I made a comment that I might run for mayor, but it wasn’t really a definite thing, and then I thought people might not look kindly to having so many O’Donnells in high-profile positions,” she said.
“However . . . circumstances have changed. My husband and I are separated, so technically I am no longer an O’Donnell.”
Cr O’Donnell said her son, Kyran O’Donnell Jr, had stated if she was elected he would be prepared to stand down from his role as president of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry if necessary.
She confirmed she had resigned from the Liberal Party because she felt it necessary to show she could put politics aside if elected.
“If elected … I will meet with and work with all members of Parliament, regardless of their party, to push for Kalgoorlie-Boulder to get its fair share of facilities and funding for our city,” she said.
“And although my husband and I are separated, we have always worked well together and if I am elected, will continue to do so for the betterment of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.”
Having been a politician’s wife as well as a local councillor, Cr O’Donnell said she had not previously had the time to dedicate herself to being mayor.
“Now that I’m separated, I have all this extra time on my hands that I want to put to good use … and running for mayor was always something I was interested in,” she said.
I don’t want to have to wait another four years to give it a go, so I figured now was the best time.
When asked what her election promises would be, Cr O’Donnell said she did not want to make any she could not keep.