EDMONTON - Incumbent Mayor Nolan Crouse won an acrimonious battle over Shelley Biermanski on Monday night to capture the mayor’s race in St. Albert.
The mayor, who also serves as chair of the Capital Region Board, earned a third term in the bedroom community north of Edmonton. In what had evolved into one of Alberta’s most contentious races, Crouse received 55 per cent of the 18,138 ballots cast.
He won with a margin of 9,900 to 8,061 for Biermanski, who was challenging him for the second consecutive time.
“I would have liked my numbers to be a few points higher, but I had a good showing and that is what it is all about,” Biermanski said. “It was a good run.”
In the council races, Cathy Heron, Cam MacKay and Wes Brodhead all earned second terms. They will be joined by newcomers Sheena Hughes, Tim Osborne and Gilles Prefontaine. One incumbent councillor — Malcolm Parker — was defeated, finishing seventh in a field of 16 candidates.
Two incumbent councillors — Len Bracko and Roger Lemeiux — did not stand again.
“I really didn’t know what to expect. I’m just really grateful people have placed their trust in me,” said Hughes, who finished third among the candidates with 7,128 votes. “I’m quite humbled to have this many people believe in me.”
She said she hopes to make a difference, and is somewhat relieved at the election outcome.
“I’m very direct, and I’m here to represent the average resident,” she said. ”I want to stand up for the average person.”
The leading vote-getter among councillors in the 2010 election, Heron repeated that success again. She had 10,268 votes, with MacKay second at 9,101.
“I seem to be doing OK so far,” she said as the early returns began rolling in. “I am just sort of curious about the other five (councillors). Everyone’s quite happy, and also on edge.
“My heart is racing and my knees are shaking.”
Prefontaine, who was targeted in attack ads, was elated to win his first term.
“I did expect it to be tight,” he said. “Some amazing people, with skill and passion, and I share in the new direction of the city. It’s an honour to be put forth.
“I’m very excited and feeling very blessed.”
Returned to council, MacKay earned 1,535 votes more this time than last.
“That’s incredible,” he said. “I am honoured and privileged.”
In the Catholic School Trustee race, Joan Crockett, Dave Caron, Serena Shaw and Rosaleen McEvoy were all chosen. Glenys Edwards, Cheryl Dumont, Gerry Martins, Sheri Wright and Kim Bugeaud were selected as public school trustees.
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