Election surprises in West Vancouver
What was widely considered an uninteresting election race in West Vancouver — mainly because there was no mayoral contest — finished with some surprises this evening.
Incumbent councillor Michael Evison was ousted by a trio of council newcomers including Mary-Ann Booth, Craig Cameron and Nora Gambioli. Another incumbent, Michael Lewis, just barely held onto his seat, squeaking past Evison for sixth spot in the polls.
"I feel better now that I am elected," said Lewis, when reached on his cellphone at Carmelo's restaurant in Ambleside.
He was celebrating with friends and West Van councillor poll-topper and perennial favourite Bill Soprovich. Their table at Carmelo's was following the score of the election race on their iPads.
Lewis admitted he was nervous that with "such a low voter turnout" West Vancouver Citizens for Good Government's slate would dominate the polls. Evison was the only WVVGG-endorsed candidate to not be elected.
"You do what you believe is morally correct," said Lewis. "At the end of the day, whether you are first in the polls or sixth you are still a councillor and you still have the same amount of say."
Newly minted councillor Mary-Ann Booth was at home surrounded by family, friends and the close to 60 people that helped with her campaign when the results came in. They hovered around the computer and continually refreshed the the District of West Vancouver's election results page on their iPhones.
From hosting coffee parties to working the phones to designing Booth's election website, her campaign team's hard work paid off: Booth nabbed second spot in the councillor race.
"Everybody here is just jubilant," said an upbeat Booth. "I didn't expect to come in second, I just wanted to be on council. And to come behind Bill, that's just amazing."
Booth said she shared campaign strategies and a platform of livability, vibrancy and engagement with Gambioli, Cameron and veteran councillor Trish Panz, who was reelected.
"I think it sends a strong message from the community that they want to move forward," said Booth.
Damian Kettlewell, who suspended his councillor campaign because of a serious illness in his family, managed to garner 261 votes.
Mayor Michael Smith won by acclimation.
The new West Vancouver board of education: Carolyn Broady, Cindy Dekker, Reema Faris, Jane Kellett and Dave Stevenson.