Running for re-election, candidate Dave Loken of Ward 3 poses for a photo outside his campaign office on Oct. 21 2013.
EDMONTON - And the unofficial winner of Ward 3 is Dave ... Loken.
As of 9:30 p.m., the incumbent was leading challenger David Dodge, 6,449 votes to 5,955 votes with special ballots still to be counted.
They were trailed by Rob Bernshaw, with 1,112, and Hakin Isse, with 738.
“Oh my, that’s close,” Dodge said on hearing the early results. “I’m happy to say I’m thrilled. When you go into a campaign against an incumbent, there’s a statistical disadvantage. We ran a really good campaign, one I’m very proud of. We talked to a lot of people in this ward. We knocked on some 9,000 doors and had a great conversation with the community.”
It was the former president of the Edmonton Federation of Community League’s first run at council. He said it was too soon to say if he would run again, but he remains committed to the community. “I’m not going anywhere,” he said.
Loken, who is about to start his second term as a councillor, could not be reached for comment by deadline.
The Daves were the front runners in the four-man race.
Public transit and an overreliance on the automobile — fewer than 10 per cent of the ward’s residents use transit regularly, one of the lowest rates in the city — was a big issue during the campaign. The city has approved a concept plan for a $1.6-billion northwest LRT line, but it’s anyone’s guess as to when it will become a reality.
Jason and Krista Franchuk who voted early in the day said voted for Loken again because they wanted a mayor and council that will be certain to guide approved projects like the downtown arena to completion, said Jason, 33. The couple’s only complaint with the campaign was “too many election signs and not enough door-knocking,” Jason said.
“I’m a stay-at-home mom and not one candidate came to the door,” added Krista, 29.
Sean Murray, 51, voted for Dodge partly because he was the only candidate to show up at his door.
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