Ipswich has its own JFK and Jackie glamour duo at helm
A NEW way forward for Ipswich with a new mayor and mayoress that come as a package deal.
That is the upshot of the 2017 mayoral by-election with Cr Andrew Antoniolli set to become the new Ipswich mayor with his wife Karina by his side as a supportive mayoress.
At the close of the count yesterday Cr Antoniolli was on 32,354 votes (34.67%) with an unassailable lead over Acting Mayor Paul Tully on 28,789 votes (30.86%).
Postal votes are still to be counted and preferences allocated, but they will not change the fact that Cr Antoniolli is destined to be declared mayor.
Yesterday Cr Antoniolli paid tribute to the contribution his wife had made to his political career.
"Any husband that tells you that you don't need the support of your wife in the job that you do is kidding themselves," he said.
"As a councillor for the last 17 years, having the support of my wife has been essential."
Mrs Antoniolli said she had "always been proud" of her husband.
"It is probably no secret that I am his biggest fan," she said.
The QT asked Karina what sort of mayor Andrew would be.
"He is going to be true to his word and he is going to be very transparent and have the open door policy he's promised the whole way through," she said.
"He will be approachable. Anyone can come to him with anything. He'll rock it."
The ebb and flow of election campaigns do not always go the way candidates want, but the duo has worked together as a team.
"The whole thing has been a roller coaster of emotions and no-one can say that doubts don't creep in when you have something this huge happening in your life," Karina said.
"But we both complement each other, lifted each other up and boosted each other when we needed to.
"We maybe gave each other a kick in the butt when we needed to, and this is the result.
"The faith that Ipswich has put in us, because we are a bit of a package deal, will be repaid."
Cr Antoniolli's commitment to a new way of doing things in council is one he said he would deliver on.
"The people were looking to the future and not a continuation of the same," Cr Antoniolli said.
"We ran a campaign of substance which gave people the real option to look at, consider and take in.
"I am elated (of the result) but I am also mindful of the fact that the chains of office weigh heavy and that there is a lot of responsibility and a lot of work to be done.
"I am like the boy with the barrow. I have a lot of work in front of me."
Cr Antoniolli said he would be be working closely with his wife in her role as mayoress.
"It is a joint role in many respects," he said.
"You don't just elect the mayor. Your spouse becomes a very important part of that role.
"She is very keen I know to get more involved in the community and on things she feels can positively affect the community."
The couple have five daughters from the ages of 11 to 20, so there is a lot to juggle.
Mrs Antoniolli is also a personal assistant to a principal at a private girls school.
"It is going to be fine," Mrs Antoniolli said when asked how she would fit being mayoress in with so many balls in air.
"I am energetic and I have lots of plans.
"It still hasn't sunk in yet but in the next few days I will get used to it.
"It is going to be fun.
"I am a very organised person and I suppose with five kids you have to be.
"I will be able to fit it all in. It will be my honour.
"We can't wait to get started on this. He is going to hit the ground running.
"Now he has got to follow through on his promises.
"I know that he will. He's got a lot of work to do."