Preliminary results are in, figures are to be made official at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18.
With a total of 973 ballots being cast, and two being spoiled, the results in the Sept. 14 civic by-election add up as follows:
Florio Vassilakakis took the vacant council seat with 408 votes, followed by:
Kirk Duff with 244; Antoinette Halberstadt with 171; and Tyler Maddocks with 148.
“I’m just honoured that I’ve got this opportunity to represent the citizens of Castlegar,” said Vassilakakis on Saturday night. “I look forward to working with the current council, and of course, the mayor, and making good things happen.”
As for the margin of victory, the proprietor of Castlegar’s downtown Element Club said he had never taken anything for granted.
“You never know, with these by-elections anything can happen. So I just kept pushing and pushing. We were on the horn today, all day, making sure that everybody got out to vote. I’m glad to see that everyone who said they were going to vote, went and voted.
On the subject of his competitors, Vassilakakis indicated he’d sent them messages in advance.
“I have nothing but the utmost respect for them,” he said.
Pictured below, Kirk Duff and Antoinette Halberstadt
Kirk Duff, the only one of the four candidates with experience on Castlegar council, who had been edged out of the governing body in the last general election, expressed a realistic reaction to the result.
“I’m a little surprised,” he said by phone. “But the voters get what they want and that’s what happened.”
Succinct in his post-vote reflections, Duff said, “I know I put everything I could into this campaign and I have zero regrets.”
Antoinette Halberstadt was positive in the wake of a third-place finish.
“I feel quite happy with my result considering how new I am to town,” she said. “Of course I would have loved to have come first, but I must say the process has been really enriching. In the process of being out there campaigning I’ve connected with and shared ideas with a lot of really excellent people.”
Tyler Maddocks, making a second bid for a council seat after being unsuccessful in the general election of 2011 was also reached by phone on by-election night but deferred comment until emailing the following statement the following day.
“Thank you to all my supporters, and the people who have continued to believe in me. I’d being lying if I said I wasn’t a little discouraged with this result, and the fact that only 20 per cent of the electorate went out to vote. The other 80 per cent of you who didn’t vote, council makes the decisions on spending YOUR tax dollars. It’s sad that you couldn’t be bothered to take five minutes out of your day to voice your opinion, yet complain when something happens you’re not in favour of.
“Nonetheless, in any by-election where there can only be one winner, it’s tough. Very different from electing in six councillors at once. Could some of us have shared voter’s votes? Quite possibly. But, congratulations to Florio. I know he will work hard, and do this city proud.
“Going forward, I’m going to take the next year to reflect on things, learn from it and most importantly build on it. This is not the end.”
Voter turnout was light – roughly half the number of ballots being cast as compared with the last general civic election.