THE battle to be Griffith's deputy mayor for the next year is set to go down to the wire, with support for both candidates evenly balanced.
Councillors Dino Zappacosta and Anne Napoli will compete for the title at the first sitting of the new council tomorrow night.
Both have had experience in the role, Cr Zappacosta for nine of the past 17 years and Cr Napoli for one year when Cr Zappacosta was mayor between 2007 and 2008.
An old partnership will be rekindled if Cr Zappacosta is successful he has been deputy to mayor John Dal Broi four times.
It is expected to be a close race, particularly if councillors vote for those they preferenced on their "how to vote" cards during the general election.
Five councillors gave preferences to Cr Napoli, while four named Cr Zappacosta.
Cr Pat Cox, who did not preference either candidate, is likely to have the deciding vote. If both candidates receive six votes, a name drawn out of a hat will determine the winner.
Cr Napoli started approaching her fellow council candidates for support two weeks ago.
"I'm just going to put my hand up and see what happens," she said.
"I think it will be quite a nice balance between myself and John and I have the experience of being deputy mayor under Dino.
"If I have the support it's all well and good but if not, it's no problem, it will just be business as usual."
In previous years, councillors have passed a motion to perform the vote by secret ballot rather than a show of hands.
Cr Zappacosta has spent more time as deputy than any other councillor since the position was introduced in 1993.
He was adamant he was the right person to take the position again and said he would use it to help Cr Dal Broi bring stability to council.
"John and I had a very good working partnership before and I feel, together, we will be able to get on with the business of running council," Cr Zappacosta said.
"I am excited about working with him again I just hope the other councillors see we are the perfect combination and vote accordingly."
Third-term councillor Christine Stead had considered putting her hand up for the role but pulled out on Friday due to work commitments.
"It would have been good to have someone new, someone young in the mix but it's just not possible for me to do it at this time," Cr Stead said.
"I was quite surprised at the high preferences I received at the election and it would have been a great experience."