Very good news for UFC hall-of-famer and survivor of worst wavepool accident in surfing history BJ Penn who is running for governor of Hawaii in November, 2022.
Australian surfer Chris Homer has shocked election pundits and the political class by unseating the incumbent left-wing mayor to win the mayoral race in Shellharbour, a city on the NSW South Coast with a population of 70,000 or thereabouts.
In a 2019 story in Tracks, Homer is described as a “semi-deity” and “one of the best barrel riders Australia has ever produced, had the talent to match the very best in the world.”
The reason Homer never left the South Coast to chase a pro tour career was, according to Tracks, “with Redsands and Razors seemingly bending to suit his style, what was the point in leaving the jewels at home to chase sponsorship and prizemoney.”
Labor mayor Marianne Saliba had been in the job for ten years before clean-skin Homer came in swinging with promises of a “fresh wave of leadership”, which included leading a campaign to stop the council from building a 200-seat function centre and fifteen cabins inside one of the last hunks of dirt on the coast that hasn’t been flattened and turned into ghettoes of developer cubist “mansions”, joints designed to be hot in summer, cold in winter and to crumble into ruins within twenty years.
Not everyone was under Homer’s thrall, howevs. Per the ABC,
During a mayoral forum in November, candidates were given 10 minutes to pitch to voters.
It took Mr Homer just over 2 minutes to outline his plans.
On housing affordability – a key issue across regional NSW – Mr Homer said his work as a mortgage adviser offered him an insight into the obstacles preventing locals finding a home.
But despite his industry knowledge, Mr Homer offered only a vague promise to investigate the issue once elected.
He was also unable to answer multiple questions related to bread-and-butter council business including parking, hard rubbish collection and building standards.
This prompted a question from the audience, “You seem unfamiliar with local and state planning guidelines. Why are you running for mayor?”
Mr Homer confessed on multiple occasions he was not “privy to the intimate details” of council – and it remains to be seen what impact that will have on the way council functions.
But his promise of an independent council not “tethered to the will of a political party” was an attractive pitch to voters hoping for a change from Labor’s grip on the region.
Small and hardly cataclysmic matters, I’d suggest, and easily examined, digested and sorted by Homer.
The win is an encouraging sign to king of the octagon, UFC hall-of-famer, survivor of worst wavepool accident in surfing history BJ Penn who is running for governor of Hawaii in November, 2022.
Like Homer, no political experience, but a heart like a lion etc.