He’s relatively new to politics, just two years in the job, but Donaghcloney man Mark Baxter has been catapulted into Craigavon council’s top civic position.
The 34-year-old was elected to the council with 757 first preference votes and soon this new boy made his mark, taking on influential posts on various committees.
However, his election as the fourth DUP mayor in a row has been slated by nationalists who accused unionist councillors of a ‘sectarian carve-up’. An accusation Mayor Baxter denies, saying Sinn Fein councillors are ‘not showing the maturity that they should be showing’.
“We have a lot of civic roles throughout the year, and in terms of Remembrance Sunday they are not going to represent the ratepayer on occasions like that. They are always attacking the Orange Order and the unionist culture, particularly in Portadown, so we don’t feel as a council group that they are ready to take those positions.”
Mark believes it is the providence of God that has brought him to the Mayoral position.
Married to Joanna for the past six years, the couple have two daughters Charlotte, aged four and Faith, aged two.
While living in Annaghmore, he went to Craigavon Training Centre (now the Southern Regional College) where he studied electrical engineering.
He served an apprenticeship with Moy Park as a maintenance technician and still works as an engineer in technical sales and consultancy.