Jennifer Watts came out on top over her fellow incumbent Dawn Sloane with a sizable 52 percent of the vote in District 8 Peninsular North, although she admits it wasn’t easy running against her colleague.
“It’s always a difficult situation, Dawn and I have worked on several issues together, we felt very strongly about similar concerns, had lots of good laughs on council, so it’s hard to be in that position,” Watts said on election night. “I very much so respect Sloane’s contribution and I’ll miss her being on council.”
Watts said they both new they would be running against each other when the re-drawn districts were unveiled, as both incumbents felt strongly that they would run in the same district they lived.
Dawn Sloane came in third with 21 percent of the vote, under challenger Doug MacDonald who garnered 22 percent.
This will be councilor-elect Watts’ second term at Halifax Regional Council.
“It’s always a very humbling experience, there were strong candidates, all who had great campaigns,” Watts said. “I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received and I’m looking forward to working with the residents of district 8 on the issues and topics that they’re concerned and very passionate about.”
Watts said with a new mayor and new faces on the smaller 16-seat council there will be a learning curve at first, but she’s hopeful for the city’s future.
Vote Count: Jennifer Watts – 3906, Doug MacDonald – 1638, Dawn Sloane – 1558, Karen Dempsey – 263, James McKay – 95
In other districts:
After a long night, seemingly in third place, Waye Mason came out in front to win District 7, Peninsula South – Downtown.
Sue Uteck, who has been the sitting councilor in the South End for 8 years came in second place.
Although the polls had shown Mason in third for much of the night, Mason declared victory early-on saying his campaign knew the tally of votes well before it became public knowledge. Much of that had to do with the municipality’s shortcomings relaying results to its election website.
Mason seemed jovial for his win and said he was humbled by his victory.
“I am in a daze,” Mason said on election night. “It’s been nine months of campaigning and the last couple of weeks have been very intense.”
Mason said that he had scrutineers at 29 of the 30 polls, which is how he determined his victory early. He also met with Uteck that evening, saying she would work with him for the transition period.
“I knocked on probably 90 percent of the doors in apartments and houses in this entire district and I think that’s really what it’s all about, introducing yourself and making that personal connection with those people.”
Mason said with the new mayor, Mike Savage, and a smaller council, they’ll be able to move forward and put the last four years behind them
Vote count: Waye Mason – 1949, Sue Uteck – 1835, Gerry Walsh – 1796, Dawgfather PHD – 357, Mike MacDonell – 98
In District 9 Peninsula West-Armdale incumbent Linda Mosher beat out her competitors handily with 4,900 votes. Mosher was elected in 2000 and re-elected in 2004, to represent District 17, Purcell's Cove - Armdale.
Mosher was up against Richard MacLean, a teacher with the Halifax Regional School Board with 2,649 votes, John Wimberly, a manager for a small publishing house with 699 votes and Giovanni (John) Abati, a watershed planning expert with 395 votes.
In District 10 Birch Cove-Rockingham-Fairview, Russell Walker, longtime councillor for the former District 15 Fairview-Clayton Park, handily defeated his closest opponent to keep his seat with 3,084 votes. First elected in a by-election in 1994, Walker has been a municipal councillor ever since.
He was up against businessman Kurt Bulger, who nabbed 1,961 votes, and PR student John Thibeau, who received 665 votes.
In District 11 Spryfield-Sambro-Prospect Road, incumbent Steve Adams keeps his seat with 3,005 votes. Adams was first elected to Halifax City Council in 1991, representing Ward 7. He was successful in four subsequent elections including elections in 1994, 1995, 2000 and 2004.
Adams was up against Tom Lavers, who worked for the former City of Halifax, and then HRM for 25 years and took a leave of absence from his current job as a professional firefighter to run for council with 1,409 votes, retired police officer Jim Hoskins with 1,073 votes, and Peter Grabosky, a member of the Canadian Armed Forces with 676 votes.
In District 12, Timberlea-Beechville-Clayton Park West, it was a race that pitted two incumbents against each other. Reg Rankin of the former District 22 Timberlea-Prospect was the victor. He garnered 2,831 votes.
His next closest competitor was Mary Wile, councillor for the former District 10 Clayton Park West since 2004. She had 1,904 ballots cast in her favour.
Also running against Rankin was Bruce Smith, an active community volunteer who picked up 1,536 votes, and Rano Khokar, another community volunteer, who nabbed 244 votes.