Mayor-elect Leonard Krog, right, makes a speech at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre on Saturday night. CHRIS BUSH/The NEWS BULLETIN

Krog voted in as Nanaimo’s next mayor

‘I think we’re going to have a very good council, maybe even a great council’

Leonard Krog will be Nanaimo’s next mayor.

Based on unofficial results, Leonard Krog will win the mayoral race. The council candidates who are leading, in order of vote count, are Erin Hemmens, Sheryl Armstrong, Ben Geselbracht, Tyler Brown, Jim Turley, Don Bonner, Ian Thorpe and Zeni Maartman.

“I think we’re going to have a very good council, maybe even a great council,” said Krog. “Nanaimo’s very fortunate tonight. A lot of good people put their names forward.”

He said it was difficult to fill out his own ballot because of the calibre of the candidates.

“Obviously Nanaimo is anxious to get on with progress and change…” Krog said. “It is about bringing people together for change and I think the candidates who are leading tonight speak to that as loudly as they possibly could and the voters obviously supported that message.”

Soon after Krog’s victory, the B.C. Liberal Party issued statements looking ahead to a coming byelection for the Nanaimo MLA’s provincial seat.

“The B.C. Liberals are excited to put forward a candidate who can effectively stand up to the NDP’s agenda, and soon join a B.C. Liberal government that will deliver greater opportunity in Nanaimo,” said Andrew Wilkinson, Liberal leader, in the statement.

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At last count, Krog had 13,200 votes with fellow mayoral candidate Don Hubbard at 4,595.

Hemmens had 13,188 votes; Armstrong, 12,945; Geselbracht, 12,529; Brown, 12,315; Turley, 9,634; Bonner, 7,958; Thorpe, 7,351; Maartman, 7,041.

Jeet Manhas was next closest at 4,9190 and Norm Smith rounded out the top-10 vote getters with 4,900.

Brown said he hadn’t known what to expect going into election night, but said it looks like Nanaimo will have “a great council.”

“A lot of different skill sets, a lot of folks with different leadership throughout the community, which is wonderful,” he said. “I’ve talked with all those folks and I think everybody has a good understanding that we need to get down to business and tackle some key issues and some big issues.”

Geselbracht said the priority for councillors will be to set a positive, collaborative tone.

“In Nanaimo, we need to move forward by working together and we need to bring our different community groups together, rebuild our committees and meet the challenge of our growing city,” he said. “I think the first order of business is sitting down with the rest of council and having a good discussion and setting the priorities of how we want to move forward.”

Turley foresees a council that will be able to get along and the lacrosse official said he’s looking forward to his first city council meeting.

“Yeah, I was actually wondering if I should wear my referee’s jersey and bring my whistle with me but I don’t think I’ll have to with this council,” he said.

District of Lantzville

District of Lantzville election results posted to Civic Info B.C. showed Mark Swain winning the mayoral race with a council of Jamie Wilson, Karen Proctor, Ian Savage and Will Geselbracht.

Unofficial results show Mark Swain with 833 votes; Bob Colclough runner-up with 531 votes.

Lantzville councillors elected include Jamie Wilson, 859; Karen Proctor, 730; Ian Savage, 645; Will Geselbracht, 615.

John Dunn was closest runner-up with 580 votes. Incumbent Dot Neary was eighth in vote count with 496.

Regional District of Nanaimo

Regional District of Nanaimo election results are in. Vanessa Craig is the new Area B (Gabriola Island) director with 67.2 per cent of the vote count. Keith Wilson is the new Area A (Cassidy, Cedar, Yellow Point, South Wellington) director with 58.9 per cent.

The voting stations close at 8 p.m. today, Oct. 20, and local government election results could come in anytime after that.

Residents in Nanaimo will elect a new mayor and eight councillors, as well as nine school trustees.

Lantzville will also elect a new mayor tonight, as well as four councillors.

In the Regional District of Nanaimo, there are two local races to watch, with two candidates each vying to become directors in Area A (Cassidy, Cedar, Yellow Point, South Wellington) and Area B (Gabriola, DeCourcy and Mudge islands).

The Our Nanaimo voter engagement group and the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce took lead roles in trying to inform voters this campaign. The News Bulletin caught up with Our Nanaimo president Fred Pattje and chamber CEO Kim Smythe earlier today; for that article, click here.

For more municipal election articles, click here.

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