Mayoral candidate Don Iveson and his wife Sarah Chan walk out of Belgravia School with their two children, Dexter and Alice, after casting their votes in the civic election on Oct. 21, 2013.
Photograph by: Topher Seguin, Edmonton Journal
Mayor-elect Don Iveson’s total of 132,162 votes gives him the highest total in Edmonton mayoralty history, by 19,077 votes. Jan Reimer garnered 113,085 votes in a 1992 win over Bill Smith for the previous record.
The biggest runaway winners, besides mayor-elect Don Iveson, are councillors Bryan Anderson, with 79.6 per cent of the vote in Ward 9, Amarjeet Sohi with 75.37 per cent in Ward 12, Ed Gibbons with 75.12 per cent in Ward 4 and Ben Henderson with 70.63 per cent in Ward 8. On the flip side, Michael Oshry won Ward 5 with just 28.32 per cent of the vote and Bev Esslinger took Ward 2 with 28.54 per cent.
With 213,585 votes cast, voter turnout was 34.5 per cent in Edmonton. That beats 33.4 per cent from 2010 and 27.24 from 2007.
All incumbent councillors have retained their seats on Edmonton City Council – Bryan Anderson, Ben Henderson, Amarjeet Sohi, Ed Gibbons, Dave Loken and Tony Caterina. Newcomers are Michael Walters, Andrew Knack, Bev Esslinger, Michael Oshry, Scott McKeen and Mike Nickel. The final vote tally for the mayoralty candidates is: Don Iveson with 132,162, Karen Leibovici with 41,182 and Kerry Diotte with 32,917
Mayor-elect Don Iveson thanks the voters. “My name and photograph have been on those green signs but this has been about you and I’m deeply grateful to the voters.”
Tom Flynn has a 1,166-vote lead over Mayor Don Rigney in Sturgeon County with three polls still waiting to report.
Don Iveson’s victory speech now underway. He thanked Kerry Diotte and Karen Leibovici and said he asked the latter for help “mentoring the many new faces we see on Edmonton City Council.”
Don Iveson is on pace to obliterate Stephen Mandel’s high-water mark from 2010. With 70 polls yet to report, Iveson had 108,369 votes. In 2010, Mandel garnered 109,432 votes in a landslide win over David Dorward, who had 58,856.
Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman has issued a statement: “As Albertans have now had their say in the municipal and district elections held across the province, I would like to thank the many men and women who ran for office in their communities.
“Public service is a noble pursuit that often comes with very long hours, great responsibility, less thanks than you deserve, and more than your fair share of criticism.
“Whether you sought to serve as a mayor, reeve, councillor, or school trustee, Alberta Liberals want to thank you.
“Thank you for sharing your vision and passion for our communities.
“Whether or not you were successful in being elected to public office, you made a difference by your participation in the democratic process. You should be very proud.
“To the candidates who won, congratulations! The mantle of leadership now rests on you. I know that you will not take lightly the public trust that has been placed in you.
“For those who are leaving public life after tonight, thank you so much for putting in those very long hours, accepting such great responsibility, not worrying about the lack of thanks, and handling criticism as an inherent part of public service. Your communities are richer for your service.
“To all the volunteers – those who helped on campaigns and those who donated their time and energy in voting stations throughout the province– you played a vital role in giving Albertans an opportunity to perform their civic duty and exercise their democratic rights.
“Finally, to each and every one of you who took the time to go to the polls and vote. You have taken the first step, but your responsibility does not end there. Stay informed and stay involved. Democracy works best with your continued participation.
“Alberta Liberals look forward to working with all of you to create a strong economy and strong society.”
Michael Walters has the runaway lead in Ward 10, Don Iveson’s old haunt. Walters had 9,741 votes, with 17 of 22 stations reporting. Nearest challenger was Richard Feehan with 3,151. Three other candidates polled 1,216 or fewer votes.
Looks like former Journal columnist Scott McKeen has been successful in his second run at council. He leads the 16-candidate Ward 6 race with 5,223 votes. Nearest challenger is Heather MacKenzie with 3,996 and 16 of 24 stations reporting. All 16 candidates received votes, though six of them had 150 or fewer votes. McKeen lost to incumbent Tony Caterina in Ward 7 in 2010.
Kerry Diotte makes his concession speech. He says all three major candidates for mayor “fought tough but fair campaigns that were a credit to our city.”
Don Iveson supporters pay some attention to Kerry Diotte and Karen Leibovici concession speeches, but lots of party-level chattering going on. People in the room really appear keen to hear from their man when he comes to make his victory speech.
Challenger Roxanne Carr has beaten Mayor Linda Osinchuk by 446 votes in Strathcona County. In St. Albert, Nolan Crouse retained his spot in the mayor’s chair with 55 per cent of the vote.
Karen Leibovici offered congratulations to Don Iveson, said she spoke to him and offered her help in any way she can to continue building Edmonton. She said she leaves the stage "knowing we did all we could."
Karen Leibovici concedes victory to Don Iveson.
Premier Alison Redford issues a statement: “I want to congratulate all of the candidates who ran for public office in today’s municipal and school board elections. To the successful candidates, I wish all of you the best in your upcoming term. Whether you are a newly elected official or a veteran returning to a post, I look forward to working with all of you
as we continue to build Alberta for all four million Albertans - and the next million who will arrive in the next decade - by investing in families and communities, living within our means and opening new markets. To all the candidates who took the courageous step of putting their names on a ballot, I want to thank you, your families, your campaign teams and volunteers for your willingness to serve the public and take part in the democratic process.”
More cheers at buoyant Don Iveson headquarters as Ben Henderson, Bev Esslinger, Ed Gibbons, Amarjeet Sohi declared winners in council races. Obviously, these are people Iveson’s crowd thinks the apparent new mayor of Edmonton can work with on council.
Andrew Knack has a comfortable lead in Ward 1. Other candidates well out in front are Bev Esslinger in Ward 2, Ed Gibbons in Ward 4, Ben Henderson in Ward 8, Bryan Anderson in Ward 9, Michael Walters in Ward 10 and Amarjeet Sohi in Ward 12.
Despite Don Iveson apparently clinching the mayoralty race with an early commanding lead, Kerry Diotte refused to concede defeat, and supporters gathered at his campaign headquarters maintained an upbeat attitude. "It is still somewhat early. It's not looking great now, but we'll see how it shapes up," Diotte said.
A pre-election poll showed Don Iveson with 54 per cent of decided voters. He’s gone well past that. With 74 of 279 polls reporting, he had 60.2 per cent of the vote. Karen Leibovici grabbed 19.75 per cent and Kerry Diotte had 16.26 per cent. The most interesting ward races were 3, where Dave Loken led Dave Dodge 696 to 587, Ward 5 where Michael Oshry’s 668 votes led Rob Hennigar at 659 and Jim Gibbon with 609, and Ward 6 where Scott McKeen held a 1,490 to 1,162 lead over Heather MacKenzie.
With 40 of 279 polls reporting, Don Iveson has been elected mayor of Edmonton, with 60.78 per cent of the vote. He had 15,176 votes, well ahead of Karen Leibovici at 4,881 and Kerry Diotte at 4,019. There had been 24,970 votes cast.
A small groan is heard at Karen Leibovici's gathering as numbers shown on the screen indicating Don Iveson has widened his lead. Virtual silence follows a few minutes later as CTV calls the election for Iveson. No word yet when Leibovici will come to the party.
Another huge cheer and chants of ‘Don, Don, Don’ as CTV declares Don Iveson elected mayor, with just 29 of 279 polls reporting. Now waiting for the candidate to confirm the results and come to the ballroom for his acceptance speech.
At Karen Leibovici’s campaign headquarters at the Art Gallery of Alberta, the mood was initially upbeat but has now turned more sombre as the early results came in showing Don Iveson well ahead. About 250 guests are keeping their eyes glued to the big screen at the front of the room where results are shown. Supporters were told Leibovici would turn up by about 9 p.m. but is now expected a bit later. “Don’t worry, it’s just five per cent of the polls,” one supporter said, trying to get the crowd smiling. With 17 of 279 polls reporting, Iveson had 2,262 votes to 969 for Leibovici and 632 for Kerry Diotte. Gordon Ward had 49, Joshua Semotiuk 40 and Kristine Acielo 22. Meanwhile, in Strathcona County, Roxanne Carr is now leading Mayor Linda Osinchuk by fewer than 300 votes with 17 of 27 polls reporting.
“My only comment is, ‘I am relieved to be democratically retired,’" said Jason Gariepy, a candidate for council in Strathcona County, who was embroiled in controversy.
The ward leaders in the early going are Andrew Knack (Ward 1), Bev Esslinger (Ward 2), Dave Loken in a close vote over David Dodge in Ward 3, Ed Gibbons in Ward 4, Michael Oshry in Ward 5, Scott McKeen in Ward 6, Tony Caterina in Ward 7, Ben Henderson in Ward 8, Bryan Anderson in Ward 9, Michael Walters in Ward 10, Sonia Bitar in Ward 11 and Amarjeet Sohi in Ward 12.
Don Iveson is the runaway leader in the mayor’s race for Edmonton. With 15 of 279 polls reporting, Iveson had 1,940 votes, well ahead of Karen Leibovici with 770 and Kerry Diotte with 577.
It could be a close mayoralty race in Strathcona County. With three polls reporting, Mayor Linda Osinchuk has 2,135 votes, Roxanne Carr has 2,124.
In St. Albert, incumbent Noland Crouse has the early lead over Shelley Biermanski for the mayor’s chair. Crouse had 963 votes to 684 for Biermanski, with two of 20 polls reporting
Supporters are now streaming into mayoralty candidate Karen Leibovici's campaign party at the Art Gallery of Alberta. There is a line at the bar and people are walking around with plates of buns and cold cuts. A cheer goes up as a live shot of the party is displayed on the big screen at the front of the room. Supporters are told Leibovici will arrive sometime around 9 p.m. or a bit later.
As about 200 supporters nosh on fruit, cheese and cold cuts, there is no sign of mayoralty candidate Don Iveson in the Matrix Hotel ballroom. He is not likely to make his entrance until results are known. Preliminary results won’t be available until at least 8:30 p.m.
The lights are dimmed at Kerry Diotte's campaign headquarters as supporters settle in around a projector screen to watch live results coverage. About 50 to 60 supporters have gathered at the nerve centre on 104th Street and 79th Avenue.
True to the stereotype, young people make up the vast majority of the crowd packing Don Iveson’s headquarters. He really does draw in what he once jokingly referred to as the “Sugar Bowl hipsters,” a reference to the popular University of Alberta-area restaurant. Unlike political campaigns at all levels of government, there are not many seniors here – the most luxuriant head of grey hair belongs to Iveson’s father.
Former councillor Kim Krushell, acting as an analyst for CTV, predicted a two-way race for the mayor’s chair between Karen Leibovici and Don Iveson. She said Kerry Diotte “has not resonated” with people on the issues he claimed to own.
Karen Leibovici’s campaign manager Catherine Keill said the four-term councillor was watching the returns at an undisclosed location with a small gathering of family and friends. She said the mood among the group was upbeat, knowing that they had done all they could do to get their vote out. “We’re feeling good,” Keill said. “The team worked very hard. We’ve had tens of thousands of contacts with voters, so it was an excellent day as far as the team is concerned.”
A few supporters start to trickle into mayoralty candidate Karen Leibovici's campaign party at the Art Gallery of Alberta, but the place is still pretty empty. Trays of cheese, crackers and cold cuts are still wrapped in cellophane, while the wine and meagre selection of beer remain on ice untouched. The small crowd seems calm.
The face of Edmonton City Council is due for a radical makeover tonight, as a new mayor and at least six new councillors will be elected.
Polls close at 8 p.m. and the rush will be on to name 12 councillors and the successor to Mayor Stephen Mandel, who retired at the age of 68 after serving three terms over nine years in the big chair. The new mayor and council will be elected for a four-year term.
Don Iveson headed into election day as the favourite to succeed Mandel, based on polling data provided to the Journal by Leger on Oct. 17. Of decided voters, 54 per cent said they supported Iveson, while 23 per cent opted for Karen Leibovici and 19 per cent for Kerry Diotte.
All three candidates vacated their city council seats to challenge for the top job. As well, Linda Sloan (Ward 1), Kim Krushell (Ward 2) and Jane Batty (Ward 6) decided not to run for another term, leaving a total of six ward vacancies to be filled.
If advance polling numbers are any indication, Edmontonians might be flocking to voting stations in greater numbers than in the previous two elections. A total of 23,076 advanced votes were cast, a 15 per cent increase over the 20,069 from 2010. Three years ago, voter turnout was a disappointing 34.3 per cent, and it was even worse in 2007, at 27.3 per cent.
This civic election is the first since 1968 in Edmonton not to feature an incumbent in the mayoralty race. Vince Dantzer retired as mayor and three councillors entered the race to replace him. Ivor Dent beat Les Bodie and Reg Easton for the top job.
A total of 119 candidates are up for election today, six in the mayoralty race, 73 for council, 22 public school board trustee hopefuls and 18 Catholic board candidates. Ward 6 boasts the highest number of candidates, with 16, though Javed Sommers decided he could not win and has endorsed fellow candidate Heather MacKenzie. The record number of candidates in one ward was set in 1971 as 18 people ran in Ward 3 and three were elected – Ed Leger, Ron Hayter and W.E. McLean.
The record number of total candidates is 135, also set in 1971, which was the first year for the ward system.
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