THE Albury mayoral race will be a battle in two despite Cr Kevin Mack easily topping the poll in the recent election.
Incumbent mayor Henk van de Ven has confirmed his intention to remain in the job which puts him on a collision course with one of his major allies in the previous council.
Cr Mack was mayor for two years before handing over to Cr van de Ven for the final year.
The mayoral election won't be held until next Monday with the two combatants to spend the rest of the week lobbying for the support required.
The race to become mayor is line ball with Cr Mack guaranteed the support of his ticket members, John Stuchbery and Murray King.
Cr Darren Cameron will also back him, but Cr Mack requires at least one other councillor to be assured of the post.
Cr van de Ven said he had sufficient support to run for mayor again with the vote of former mayor Alice Glachan expected to play a pivotal role in the final outcome.
Cr Mack said the voters had given him a clear mandate to return as mayor, but was aware of the challenge expected to come from Cr van de Ven.
"It's his democratic right," Cr Mack said.
"But there has been a precedent when a candidate who has secured the majority votes has a clear run at becoming mayor for the first term of the new council."
Patricia Gould was elected unopposed in 2008 when she topped the poll and four years earlier vet Arthur Frauenfelder became mayor when he had two other Liberal ticket members elected.
Complicating matters at the start of the new council is two-year terms for mayor after previously being one.
The election result was confirmed on Saturday and Cr van de Ven confirmed on Monday he would be standing for mayor again.
"I've had some talks with fellow councillors and I've got an indication of enough support to run for mayor again," he said.
"The argument that Kevin should be mayor based on his election result is acknowledged.
"But the issue for me is the fact he got a second year as mayor on the basis that he had only been in the job a short time and there were projects he wanted to see come to fruition.
"I supported him and also stepped down as deputy mayor to allow Ross Jackson to have a year in the role."
Cr van de Ven made a string of unsuccessful challenges to become mayor between 2008 and 2012 before landing the job 12 months ago.
He is the equal longest serving Albury councillor with Cr Glachan with both elected in 2004.