Comedian to throw hat in ring as mayor
It is probably fair to say the race to be Bristol's first elected Mayor has yet to really capture the public's imagination.
But that could all be about to change after one of the city's more colourful characters has declared his intention to throw his trademark red hat and shoes into the ring.
Comedian Stoney Garnett, who is a former postman, ex-football referee and dyed-in-the-wool Bristol City fan lives in Whitchurch in South Bristol.
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He could hardly be more different from the seasoned politicians and leading businessmen who have already declared they are running.
But he reckons he has what it takes to lead the city into the future and if there are controversies he should be able to cope, for he has had his share in the past.
Back in 2000 the cabaret comedian, who is a well-known figure at Ashton Gate, hit the headlines when he was banned from taking charge of a Fry Club Cup semi-final by the referees' association after he became the first referee in Britain – and possibly the world – to be sponsored.
Unfortunately he had not sought prior approval to allow a taxi firm logo to appear on his kit and red and yellow cards. During the kerfuffle it appeared he had failed to register with either Somerset or Gloucestershire FAs.
He said he only organised the sponsorship for a laugh and retired from the game.
Yesterday he said: "I was registered but they couldn't find my name because I was registered under my name, Garnett Farmer, not as Stoney Garnett."
The nickname has stuck since childhood days in Knowle West, and the fact that he is a real Bristolian is, he says, one of the biggest points in his favour in the race for office.
"I am deadly serious about this. I have not put a nomination form in yet but I have been planning to run for some time," he said.
"I would get a team, a committee together who'd be experts in their fields, to help me, and I would listen to what the people say. I'd take the politics out of the position. It's just not necessary.
"One of the biggest problems of course is the traffic. It really does need sorting out."
A Bristol City fan for as long as he can remember he wants Bristol City to get their new stadium, Rovers to do the same, and an entertainment arena to be built at Temple Meads.
Posters promoting his cause have appeared on hoardings and in pub windows around South Bristol, and if anyone asks whether he can handle a billion pound budget Stoney has a quick answer: "When you grow up in Knowle West you know how to spend – and to save."
The countdown to November's mayoral election has just got a little more interesting.