Evan Woolley unseats John Mar in Ward 8 upset

Ward 8 incumbent John Mar is out of a job on Tuesday, defeated by challenger Evan Woolley.

Community developer and public affairs expert vows to fight for inner-city reinvestment

Evan Woolley, a 33-year-old community developer, defeated incumbent John Mar in the Ward 8 race. (CBC)

Ward 8 incumbent John Mar is out of a job on Tuesday, defeated by challenger Evan Woolley.

The 33-year-old, who has worked in the city’s sustainability department and in the private sector, ran on a platform of reinvesting in the Calgary’s inner-city neighbourhoods.

"This is about ideas and our policies were about building a great inner city and having good representation for our inner city communities,” he said.

“The city has grown rapidly but we need to make sure we keep our inner city neighbourhoods. This is the soul of our city and we need to be reinvesting back into our inner city communities."

  • Hear his full interview on the Calgary Eyeopener by clicking the "Listen" button above.

Mar showed up at Woolley headquarters once the outcome was clear, surprising the partisan crowd with a gracious nod to his opponent.

John Mar stopped by Evan Woolley's victorious campaign headquarters late Monday to congratulate the man who took his job representing Ward 8. (CBC)

"This is a man that will help you lead the city into the future,” he said.

Mar served two terms on Calgary council.

"This is the end of a campaign. It's the end of a chapter. And as I was saying earlier to some of the people in this room, democracy is not necessarily pretty. But it's not about what I want,” Mar said.

"But at the end of the day, this is an election and I'm proud of the service that I've done. And grateful for the opportunity to have served Calgarians for the last six years.”

Woolley saluted his opponents for taking the time and effort to get involved in politics, noting that it takes a lot of work.

“Running for public office is the ultimate form of civic engagement and that feeling of adrenalin that I had in my chest, I knew that the other candidates also had that feeling,” he said.

Woolley said his team ran the most incredible campaign in the city.

“We knew that the only way we could win this campaign was through hard work. And we knocked on almost 14,000 doors in this ward.”

While working for two years at city hall, Woolley helped develop Calgary’s 10-year sustainability plan. More recently he worked on community projects with the city’s public art program.

Woolley also helped to establish the Sled Island Music and Arts Festival.

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