Castlegar has a new mayor and city councilor.
In a super tight race, Kirk Duff won the mayor seat by 42 votes.
Brian Bogle won the council seat by a landslide.
Lawrence Chernoff — 498
Kirk Duff — 724
Gord Lamont — 190
Florio Vassilakakis — 682
Gord Zaitsoff — 311
Brian Bogle — 1518
Sandy Bojechko — 371
Shirley Flastead — 287
Heather Fancy — 200
These preliminary results are subject to confirmation by the Chief Elections Officer.
Duff is no stranger to Castlegar politics, having previously spent 18 years as a city councillor.
Florio Vassilakakis gave up his city council seat of eight years in order to run for mayor, the loss means he will no longer have a place on council.
Duff says he is overwhelmed with the response he received from voters.
“It is quite an honour to be elected as Castlegar’s mayor,” he told Castlegar News on election night.
“Thank you to all the voters for coming our to participate in democracy.”
Duff says he thinks the message he shared throughout his campaign resonated with voters: “This election was about leadership style and personality, built on a strong political background and community service.”
Brian Bogle was also quite overwhelmed with the number of votes — 1518 — he received.
“I am very grateful,” he told Castlegar News shortly after hearing the election results.
Bogle thinks it was the fact that he was so well known from his work as the long-time manager of Castlegar Safeway that gave him the edge in the election.
“People know me from my work and they recognize that I will apply the same things to the city that I applied at my work place.
“They knew they could approach me and talk to me, and I plan to be the same with the city.”
The newly-elected officials will be sworn in on May 17.
Voter turnout was good for a byelection, with a total of 2405 votes cast for mayor. Advance polls were popular this election with 1016 people casting their votes early.
The municipal byelection of 2013 saw just 973 residents vote, while the byelection of 2016 saw 1844 votes.
The last municipal regular election was in 2018. There were 2866 votes cast — voter turnout rate of 47 per cent.
More to come …