THE man with the booming laugh is looking to make some sort of history. Check your record books council geeks, when was the last time a candidate won two consecutive by-elections in the same ward. Nick Russell was confirmed today as the Lib Dem candidate in the poll which follows the death of Labour councillor Dave Horan.
It’s an important by-election. Labour need to reinforce their recalled dominance in the neighbourhood. The Lib Dems need to begin the comeback in a ward which not so long ago they had three councillors but now have none. Nick won the by-election caused by Phillip Thompson’s American adventures, but he was ousted from his seat in May at the boroughwide elections – a key area in the Lib Dems’ slip from power in Camden.
No doubt rivals will remind him of his worst moment on the council: telling the full council meeting that a fellow member ‘resembled a Nazi stormstrooper’. Yet he has proven he can win under tricky circumstances. After Thompson had deserted KT for Arizona in October 2008, there was an uphill task ahead and he still came out on top. His joust with Labour’s Jenny Headlam Wells will be worth watching. The vote takes place on October 28.