EXPERIENCED mayoral campaigner Peter Luxton has come from the clouds to emerge as the leading challenger to incumbent Mayor Paul Pisasale in Saturday's election.
Mr Luxton is making his third tilt at Ipswich mayor and his performance at the QT candidates' forum revealed his vision for Ipswich was clear, and consistent with his views of the past eight years.
The mayoral hopeful edged a solid Cr Pisasale on the night and was a clear points winner over fellow challenger Gary Duffy who admitted to the QT after the forum that his performance was below his best.
Cr Pisasale is at unbackable odds to retain his mayoralty but Mr Luxton said he was heartened by his performance at the forum and the support he was receiving.
Mr Luxton spoke of his determination to build more public pools, increase libraries in the city, encourage sustainable development and give the CBD an iconic and showpiece building.
"People are starting to connect with what I am saying because I am articulating what they are feeling as well," he said.
"The forum has given me a boost but there is a long way to go up against an extremely popular incumbent mayor. That (forum) was just one battle.
"The environment is coming to the fore and news today revealed that the (global) temperature is rising faster than was thought, and that ties in with the public consciousness.
"I feel confident and I am pleased my ideas are resonating."
Mr Luxton was one of 16 candidates - including Division 3, 5 and mayoral hopefuls - who spoke at the QT candidates' forum at the USQ campus at Ipswich.