James Furney is going to be the new mayor for the Town of Port McNeill.
Once the municipal election polls closed on Saturday at 8 p.m. and all the votes were counted, Furney had defeated incumbent mayoral candidate Gaby Wickstrom by a total of 573 votes to 404.
“I’m pleased that it was decisive, it’s a change in the right direction,” said Furney. “I would like to stress the diversity of our new council, it’s going to be a great strength going ahead.”
He noted the first step once he’s sworn into office will be getting oriented to the existing staff and the town projects that are already currently underway.
Furney also thanked Wickstrom for running an honest and noble campaign.
Wickstrom wrote on her official campaign social media page, saying a brief thank you to everyone who had supported her in the election.
“Unfortunately I was unsuccessful,” she stated. “I wish nothing but good things for this community.”
This will be Furney’s first term as mayor, though his family definitely isn’t new to local politics. His late father Gerry served as the longtime mayor of Port McNeill for 39 years, retiring in 2014.
“I’m sure he’d be proud, and I share the same love for the community that he had,” he said.
As for Port McNeill council, here’s how the voting went for the four councillor seats at the table.
Leighann Ruel – 708;
Ann-Marie Baron – 685 (incumbent);
Michelle Carson – 684;
Shelley Downey – 669 (incumbent);
Dawn Harilstad – 393; and
Stephanie Coe – 213.