Don Iveson was elected Edmonton's next mayor on Monday with a decisive victory over his two closest competitors, his former council colleagues Kerry Diotte and Karen Leibovici.
Iveson, 34, acknowledged the loud cheers of his supporters as he stood on the stage at the Matrix Hotel in downtown Edmonton as he repeated aspirational statements that were themes of his campaign.
"Our campaign platform, our promises to you, are based on your imagination, your ambition, your new feeling of hope and optimism in Edmonton," Iveson said. "A more confident swagger for Edmonton."
More than 60% of votes for Iveson
Iveson, 34, was able to capture 61.88 per cent of the vote to prevail over Leibovici and Diotte.
Leibovici pulled in 19.28 per cent of the vote, while Diotte was in third place with 15.41 per cent of the vote.
First elected to city council in 2007, Iveson takes over from Stephen Mandel, who is stepping down after nine years in the mayor’s chair.
“Mayor Mandel in a mere nine years raised this city back to where it should have always been,” Iveson told his supporters, adding that he considered Mandel a mentor and a hero to all Edmontonians.
Karen Leibovici conceded the race early on and offered her congratulations to Iveson. Diotte waited a little longer, making his concession speech at 9:45 p.m. MT.
“I know it hurts to lose, but every election is a win for democracy and that’s what really counts," Diotte told his volunteers. "So hold your heads high ... Everyone who contributes to democracy is a winner."
Leibovici's defeat ended a 12-year run on Edmonton city council, which was preceded by time as a Liberal MLA.
Leibovici, who campaigned on her political experience and leadership skills, said she will find some way to serve the community.
"We can spend a lot of time trying to dissect it, but at the end of the day, mayor-elect Iveson is Edmontonians' choice," she said. "And as I said, I will continue to work for the betterment of the city."
When asked if this marked the end of her life in politics, Leibovici responded, "Oh, you never say never."
Six new councillors
Incumbent councillors Amarjeet Sohi, Dave Loken, Bryan Anderson, Ed Gibbon, Ben Henderson and Tony Caterina were re-elected.
- Edmonton Votes: Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4
- Edmonton Votes: Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8
- Edmonton Votes: Wards 9, 10, 11 and 12
Six of the city's 12 wards will have new councillors:
- Ward 1: Andrew Knack
- Ward 2: Bev Esslinger.
- Ward 5: Michael Oshry.
- Ward 6: Scott McKeen.
- Ward 10: Michael Walters.
- Ward 11: Mike Nickel
Nickel's election marks his return to council after an absence of six years. Nickel lost his council seat in the biggest upset of the 2007 election when he was defeated by Iveson, then making his first run for public office.
Andrew Knack's third time running for city council has paid off — he will replace Linda Sloan as the councillor for Ward 1.
Ward 2 councillor-elect Bev Esslinger is a former trustee and chairwoman of the Edmonton Public School Board. She will be the only woman on the next council.
Scott McKeen, a former city hall columnist for the Edmonton Journal, was elected to Ward 6 in his second try at a council seat.
Michael Walters, a candidate for the Alberta Party in last year's provincial election, and Michael Oshry, the co-founder and chairman of Firma Foreign Exchange, were elected to Ward 10 and Ward 5 respectively.
One of the biggest upsets of the night occurred in Strathcona County where incumbent mayor Linda Osinchuk lost to her only opponent, Coun. Roxanne Carr, by 446 votes.
Osinchuk served one term as mayor after defeating former mayor Cathy Olesen in 2010. Olesen is now the Progressive Conservative MLA for Sherwood Park.
In St. Albert, Nolan Crouse was elected to another term as mayor, holding off challenger Shelley Biermanski.