Ward Sutherland has won the race for Ward 1 after a recount Wednesday.

Sutherland received just 85 more votes than Chris Harper Monday, so a recount was requested. The count started at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning and the results of 25 ballot boxes came in just after 6 p.m. MT.

"It was quite a learning experience," said Sutherland. "They counted absolutely every advance ballot regardless of where it was and who it was voted for. So it was very, very thorough. It was very impressive."

In the end, the recount found Sutherland had received 86 more votes than Harper — so 8,721 votes to 8,635. 

Harper says he can still make a difference by getting involved in his community.

"You do not have to be elected to make positive changes in your community," he said. "You just have to roll up your sleeves, get out in your community and be involved."

Harper says he won't run again in the next municipal election, but isn't ruling out politics at another level.

There was no incumbent in the riding after long-serving Ald. Dale Hodges decided not to seek re-election.

After serving for 30 years, Hodges decided to watch council from the sidelines but had thrown his weight behind Sutherland — a former community association president. 

"I thought if Hodges thought he was a good candidate, that was good enough for me," said John Ostrom, who voted for Sutherland.

Results for all Calgary council positions will not be finalized until Friday.

Ballot box missing

A ballot box went missing Monday night, returning officer Barb Clifford said Wednesday afternoon. 

The box disappeared while being moved from Foothills Hospital to Father Lacombe High School, where ballots were being counted. 

Missing ballots are city-wide:

  • Sixteen mayor.
  • Fifteen councillor.
  • Eight Public school trustee.
  • Four separate school trustee.

In a news release, Clifford said the 43 ballots are not expected to affect the outcome of any races. 

"To lose anything is disturbing," she said. "This is the first time I've had it happen and certainly we're going to look into things we can put into place so this will not happen again."

Clifford says if the ballot box turns up before Friday they will have people come in to count the votes.