THE general election is not quite a distant memory but political campaigning is set to start all over again in the Tees Vally with key appointments being put to the vote.

This spring residents are being asked to choose who they want to be the next Tees Valley Mayor and the next Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Currently the position mayoral post is held by Conservative Ben Houchen, while Labour’s Barry Coppinger is the PCC.

Mr Houchen caused a shock in 2017 when he defeated Labour candidate and bookies’ favourite, Sue Jeffrey, to become the Tees Valley’s first directly elected mayor with 51 per cent of the vote.

Considered by many to be something of an anomaly at the time, that Tory election victory turned out to be a warning shot for Labour as each election since has seen their grip on Teesside loosened.

Nonetheless, Labour will be hoping to turn the tide and snatch the mayoralty from the Conservatives on May 7 with their candidate, Jessie Joe Jacobs.

The charity leader was named the official Labour candidate amid some controversy after regional members of the party’s National Executive Committee decided she was the only candidate who had made the shortlist.

She’ll be battling a Conservative candidate who previously stood on a popular platform of bringing the failing Durham Tees Valley Airport into public ownership and reinstating its former name – Teesside Airport.

While yet to be officially confirmed as the Tory candidate, if selected, Mr Houchen will be able say he was a mayor who kept his most ambitious manifesto promise.

 The Liberal Democrats say that they expect to announce their candidate in mid-January and so far there have been no announcements from any other parties.

 Meanwhile, the only thing for certain in the election for Cleveland PCC is that Mr Coppinger won’t be in the running.

He had faced calls to quit following the most damning report ever given to a force and in September Mr Coppinger announced he would not be standing for re-election.

No other party has yet announced their PCC candidates.

Polling day for both the Tees Valley Mayor and the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner is May 7.