FIVE candidates are battling it out for a seat in Durham County Council following the death of a councillor in earlier this year.
It follows the sad death of Councillor Eddie Murphy, a former Labour man turned independent, in May following a short illness.
Five candidates have been nominated to fill the vacancy and serve alongside Crook Councillors Eddie Tomlinson and Andrea Patterson, both Labour.
They are: Alan Booth, a Conservative, from Mickleton; David English, a Liberal Democrat, from Crook; Betty Hopson, a UK Independence Party member, from Witton Park; Tony Simpson, an independent, from Crook; and Maureen Blanche Stanton, a Labour party member, from Wolsingham.
Cllr Murphy, 69, a former RAF air traffic controller, represented the Crook at Wear Valley District Council and later Durham County Council, for 20 years.
His political career included two spells as district council chairman in 2005 and 2008. He also topped the polls in both the unitary authority elections in 2008 and 2013.