White Rock residents voted Saturday to stay the course in the seaside city, re-electing Wayne Baldwin to the mayor’s chair.
Preliminary results, after polls closed at 8 p.m. Nov. 15, indicate the former city manager – first elected mayor in 2011 – won 3,225 votes Saturday, nearly doubling challenger David Bradshaw, who received 1,640 votes.
Official results are to be announced at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Baldwin, who was at city hall when the results came in, said he was not surprised by his win.
“It’s up to the electorate,” he said. “Quite frankly, I think the people made the right choice.”
Bradshaw couldn’t be reached for comment on election night. Monday morning, he was terse.
“I think your paper is totally devoted (to) and influenced by the powers that be,” he told Peace Arch News. “I have nothing to say to you.”
The councillor lineup received a shakeup, with three new faces: onetime councillor Lynne Sinclair, Megan Knight and David Chesney.
Al Campbell was the only incumbent to lose his seat, placing 10th of 17 with 1,646 votes.
The White Rock Coalition – launched Oct. 10 – now holds a majority on council. Four of its six members – incumbents Grant Meyer and Bill Lawrence, along Sinclair and Knight – won seats.
Incumbent Helen Fathers topped the polls among councillors; Chesney won the sixth seat.
Campbell said Monday he was “completely” surprised.
“I was prepared to not get on, but to be 10th, I was quite shocked,” he told PAN, citing his stance on trees and Johnston Road as likely factors in his unseating. “I think that really hurt me… After six years, I really thought I would’ve had more credentials than Johnston Road.”
Campbell said he had been looking forward to a four-year term that will no doubt see a conclusion to the city’s negotiations to purchase its water supply, and the rebuilding of Johnston Road.
At the same time, he is proud of what he accomplished.
“I look back and I think the city’s better for my being there,” he said. “We got a lot of infrastructure done that wouldn’t be there.”
Baldwin and Fathers both expressed disappointment at Campbell’s defeat.
“Normally, it’s very hard to unseat an incumbent,” Baldwin said. “I thought he would be there.”
Fathers said she was “a little bit sad… in shock that my friend Al’s not in.” At the same time, she was “thrilled” to be re-elected.
For Sinclair, the win begins her second term. First elected in 2008, she challenged Baldwin for the mayor’s chair in 2011. This time, her White Rock Coalition team clearly supported Baldwin over his challenger.
Coalition members Doug Hart and Cliff Annable finished eighth and eleventh, respectively.
For Knight and Chesney, the wins are their first on council. Knight ran in the 2012 byelection; this was Chesney’s sixth crack at a council seat.
“I wore them down,” Chesney quipped shortly after learning he’d won the sixth-highest number of votes among councillor candidates.
Chesney told PAN the only surprise to him was “how incredibly strong” the White Rock Coalition finished.
“I hope you don’t see just a block vote,” he said.
Candidate Dennis Lypka placed just out of the running, in seventh place, with 1,850 votes.
Voter turnout was 34 per cent, up from 29.89 per cent in 2011.
An increase was also seen in advance polls this year, when 82 per cent more ballots were cast than in 2011 (1,340 compared to 736).
The new council is to be sworn in on Dec. 1. Candidates, successful or otherwise, have until Nov. 24 to take down their election signage.
White Rock results
Wayne Baldwin 3,225 David Bradshaw 1,640
Helen Fathers 2.457 Grant Meyer 2,420 Lynne Sinclair 2,279 Megan Knight 2,125 BIll Lawrence 2,039 David Chesney 1,982 Dennis Lypka 1,850 Doug Hart 1,830 Margaret Woods 1,768 Al Campbell 1,646 Cliff Annable 1,541 Pattie Petrala 1,165 Cary Van Zanten 846 Ross Haugland 740 Sheila Hunter-Tubic 683 Mike Hornak 542 Darcy Sangster 228