The heir apparent to Griffith's mayoral throne has made the shock announcement he will not run in the upcoming council elections.
Councillor Domenic Testoni made the difficult decision to put his council career on hold to spend more time with his young family.
After polling well in the 2004 and 2008 elections and being voted deputy mayor by his fellow councillors in three of the past four years, the 42-year-old was expected to be one of the frontrunners in the September 8 election.
He was seen by many as a likely successor to current mayor Mike Neville.
But with less than three days to go before the close of nominations, Cr Testoni has decided to delay his next run for council until his sons, five-year-old Declan and two-year-old Brandon, are older.
"When I looked at all the times I haven't been available for the boys, I realised I really needed to be there," Cr Testoni said.
"My priority has to be my boys - you only have one chance to raise kids and I want to do everything I can to make sure they have all the opportunities they can.
"If I took on council for another four-year term, I would throw myself in 100 per cent, and that's not the right thing for my boys."
Cr Testoni has proven his leadership abilities throughout his time on council, stepping in as acting mayor during some of the toughest times in Griffith's history.
He was publicly praised after taking on the role for more than six months while Cr Neville was in hospital in 2010 and seamlessly stepped into the position during the March floods, while Cr Neville was sitting trial in Wagga on sexual assault charges.
"I've had opportunities a lot of people haven't had and it has been an absolute honour to be elected and serve the community," Cr Testoni said.
"The floods were a traumatic time and to go through that in the position I was in, people look to you for answers.
"I would be walking down the street in Yenda and I just didn't know what to say to people who have lost everything."
Cr Testoni named City Park, Ted Scobie Oval and Griffith Community Private Hospital amongst his proudest achievements as part of council.
"I have thrown my heart and soul into council and I haven't lost that passion - I will bring it back when the time is right," he said.