Incumbents in Brookfield and Onslow lose their seats
TRURO - Colchester County Council will see five new faces gracing its table when the first post-election meeting is held next week.
The municipality registered a total of 6,174 votes, just slightly more than 22 per cent of the county's 28,025 eligible voters.
Two incumbent councillors, Gerald Buott in Brookfield and Bob White in Central Onslow, both fell to challengers while incumbent councillors in districts 6 and 10 each held off challengers to keep their seats.
Three districts - 5,7 and 11 - had all fresh candidates after the incumbent councillors in those areas declined to re-offer.
Karen MacKenzie in District 6, who has served one-term on council, handidly retained her seat by holding off first-time candidate Heather Collicott in a vote of 384 to 189.
Tom Taggart, who has also served one term on council, held off former councillor Doug Cooke with a vote of 649 to 499.
"It was a relief, I'm thrilled," Taggart said, shortly after the final results had come in. "I was scared to death all day if you want to know the truth."
With campaign workers tracking the results throughout the vote-counting process, however, Taggart said, his confidence grew as the ballots from each poll came in.
"I felt, once I got the first poll in, every poll I got was a little bit better than the last election and it came down to, there was just Bass River and Great Village left and I won Bass River big," he said.
"But I want you to know it's a lot more nerve wracking trying to hold a seat than it is trying to win one."
In District 3, where incumbent Gerald Buott (111 votes) lost to newcomer Geoff Stewart (438 votes), Buott said he had just received the results when contacted by the Truro Daily News and was still digesting the information.
"Congratulations to the winners," the one-term councillor said. "I did the best job I could while I was there."
In District 5, which was vacated by veteran councillor Glen Edwards, Lloyd Gibbs held off his closest rival David Totten by a margin of 90 votes with a total count of 351.
"We're having a little party here," Gibbs said, when reached at his home by telephone. "I'm so happy and I'm so privileged to be elected."
Gibbs said he had worked hard during the campaign, knocking on doors and listening to constituent concerns. But positive voter feedback leading up to the election left him feeling confident and he felt his reputation of "aggressively" working for people's rights during two previous terms on the school board and other public bodies worked in his favour.
"I have a reputation with folks of fighting for the people," he said.
In District 9, two-term councillor Bob White who garnered 240 votes, fell victim to Doug MacInnes whose total count came in at 414 votes.
"I'm feeling absolutely fantastic," said MacInnes, shortly after spending much of Sunday taking down election signs. "It' was a very busy time and I met some great people in District 9."
He said the fist thing he wants to issue when he begins working with council is fracking water in Debert.
"That's the number one concern I heard when going door-to-door. People are very concerned about radioactive water."
District 11, which was vacated by Earl McKenna, was won by Wade Parker who garnered 273 votes over his closest rival, Eric Boutilier, who claimed 179 votes.
In District 7, where Jimmy LeFresne decided not to reoffer, Mike Gregory beat out his only rival, Angus Bonnyman by a wide margin, with a total vote count of 832 to 361.
Mayor Bob Taylor was acclaimed prior to the election after no one opposed him for that position.
Councillors Christine Blair (Dist. 1), Bill Master (Dist. 2), Mike Cooper (Dist. 4) and Ron Cavanaugh (Dist. 8) were also all acclaimed.