12 Aug 2022

Auckland mayoralty candidate Leo Molloy quits race

3:38 pm on 12 August 2022

Auckland businessman Leo Molloy has pulled out of the Auckland mayoralty race.

Auckland businessman / restaurateur Leo Molloy.

Photo: RNZ / Dan Cook

Molloy said polls suggested he would not win the election.

Withdrawing was the "right thing to do for the city", he said.

"I'm deciding to withdraw immediately and, in doing so, potentially help other candidates - who won't do as a good a job as I would have - but at least will be better than the dispiriting status quo we've had under Phil Goff and this Labour mayoralty," Molloy said in a statement.

"Cowboys don't cry. I'm getting on with my other life as a hospo legend," the statement said.

Molloy did not endorse another candidate but said he may do so once he had scrutinised their policies in more detail.

He hinted at a run in 2025 and said he had no regrets.

The Auckland Ratepayers' Alliance-Curia poll released today had Efeso Collins leading with 22.3 percent of the vote, among those who had decided.

Mayoral candidate, right leaning businessman Wayne Brown, said he was surprised Molloy withdrew.

"Good on him, he's not going to make it. It's quite a good thing really. I think it's down to me to beat Efeso now."

He thought another candidate, Viv Beck, would pull out of the race before Molloy.

Craig Lord, another candidate, thought Molloy's real interest was in a different political direction.

"His platform early on was attacking the government and for me, that meant he wanted to be an opposition MP. So he probably should have been looking towards next year's general elections and finding a party to join and run on that platform.

Lord said he was quite disappointed Molloy withdrew as he was looking forward to some interesting mayoral debates prior to October's local body elections

It leaves Collins, Brown and Beck as front runners, alongside a smattering of minor candidates vying for the chains.

Incumbent Phil Goff is handing over the chains after six years in office.

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