New Mansfield mayor Kate Allsop described her appointment as ‘humbling’ and ‘very emotional’ following a close-run election.
The Mansfield Independent Forum candidate was virtually level with rival, Labour’s Martin Lee, after the first-choice voted were counted a the John Fretwell Centre on Friday afternoon.
Mrs Allsop had polled 17,604 votes, with Mr Lee picking up 17,562.
Third candidate Phil Shields had pulled in 9,672, taking him out of the race for the prestigious position.
However, after the second-choice votes were counted, as part of the supplementary voting system, Mrs Allsop had almost 3,000 more votes than Mr Lee, taking her total to 22,600.
Close to tears, the new mayor said: “It feels absolutely wonderful, I’m just delighted.
“It was very emotional, to think so many people voted for me is humbling.”
Mayor Allsop follows independent mayor, Tony Egginton, into the role, after he was elected for three successive terms from 2002 to 2015.
Se added: “I have worked with Tony for 12 years, and we have come a long way since then, but there’s always room for improvement.
“There’s so much I want to do.”
As part of her manifesto, Mayor Allsop has pledged to scrap councillors’ expenses, including her own, introduce free half-hour parking in Mansfield town centre, oversee the construction almost 400 new homes, as well as having ‘radical’ plans for the town.
She has also emphasised her desire to kick party politics out of the council.
The mayoral election result was the first blow of a disappointing night for the Labour party, who despite holding onto a majority in the district council elections, lost a number of seats to the Mansfield Independent Forum.
For Martin Lee, who opted not to stand in the council elections and concentrate on becoming mayor, it signals the end to his time on Mansfield District Council.
Mr Lee, who was also emotional after the mayoral result was announced said: “I’m very disappointed, it was always going to be a hard task.
“They (Mansfield Independent Forum) threw a lot of money at it.
“I’m no longer a councillor so I’ll have a break and think where to go.”
Meanwhile, Phil Shields, who also later lost his seat on the council was pleased with amount of votes he polled.
However, he felt financing his own campaign meant he was unable to compete with the other two candidates.
He said: “I think I have done really well to get just under 10,000 votes.
“It’s just a shame there has been a general election at the same time which I think had a big bearing on it.
“I’ll come back in four years’ time and give it another go.
“It’s been a good team effort but when you haven’t got the money behind you,you are restricted on what you can spend. A lot of it comes down to that.”
More than 46,402 people voted in the mayoral elections, almost 58 per cent of the electorate, making it the largest turnout in the history of Mansfield’s mayoral elections.
The previous best was in 2011 which had a 37.4 per cent return.
Kate said: “I
The count took more than four hours to complete at the John Fretwell Centre.