Working his way up and down the street, Ward 1 candidate Andrew Knack waves to vehicles as they drive along 142 St. on Oct. 21, 2013. Topher Seguin/Edmonton Journal --- Begin Additional Info --- Edmonton, October 21-Working his way up and down the street, Ward 1 candidate Andrew Knack waves to vehicles as they drive along 142 St. on Oct. 21, 2013. Topher Seguin/Edmonton Journal
Photograph by: TOPHER SEGUIN, Topher Seguin
EDMONTON - Long-time campaigner and door-knocker extraordinaire Andrew Knack won the race to represent Ward 1, his early lead quickly growing in Edmonton’s west end Monday night.
The 29-year-old retail manager pulled ahead of Bryan Sandilands, a health economist, even though retiring Ward 1 Coun. Linda Sloan threw her support behind Sandilands this weekend ahead of the five others running to replace her. Knack had run twice previously against Sloan, gaining votes each time.
“I’m just humbled and honoured,” said Knack, whose lead widened through the night, bringing in more than double the votes of his closest competitor. “I’m really happy the support has been quite strong in some areas.”
He said face-to-face engagement made a difference. His campaign team knocked on 25,000 doors over the last eight months.
“Nobody has run a campaign like that,” Knack said, noting his priorities are to get a firm deadline for the west leg of the LRT, and to improve community engagement by holding monthly town halls in the ward.
Sandilands, who placed second, said he was pleased with the race, win or lose. His main message: experience with management seniority matters.
“We did exceptionally well,” said Sandilands, a former president of the Edmonton Social Planning Council who works for Canadian Blood Services. “We came from nowhere seven weeks ago to being a serious challenger. … Our concerns were, it’s not good enough to want the job. You should be qualified for the job too.”
But Knack’s name was well-known in the area, since he captured 34 per cent of the vote in 2010 and has been involved in community leagues and attending city hall meetings.
The ward seat was left empty after Sloan, 53, decided not to run for a fourth term as councillor to focus on other priorities, including her new marriage.
The others vying to replace Sloan were Sharon Maclise, a real estate agent who placed third, Jamie Post, a non-profit worker; Sean Amato, a TV reporter; and Rob Pasay, a technology specialist.
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