Stephen Mandel won his third term as Edmonton mayor in Monday's municipal election, handily defeating his closest competitor, Envision Edmonton-backed candidate David Dorward.
"The first time we won was quite remarkable, but this feels better," Mandel said to boisterous cheers from his supporters.
"This is about building a great city, about building its future and making it a place we all can be so proud of."
Dorward conceded the race to Mandel just after 9 p.m. MT. Mandel pulled ahead early and won 55.1 per cent of the vote over Dorward's 29.8 per cent.
"My friends, we came up short tonight," Dorward said in his speech. "But hold your heads high. We made a huge difference during this campaign."
Dorward was gracious while conceding to Mandel.
"Stephen and I do not agree on some key issues," he said. "But I think I speak for everyone when I say Stephen Mandel has done a great service for this community and we all owe him a debt of gratitude.".
In his speech to supporters at the Sutton Place Hotel, Mandel said it was a hard campaign because of all of the rhetoric but Edmontonians had chosen a clear path for the future.
"There has been a clear mandate today of how to move this city forward," he said.
Daryl Bonar came in third in the mayor's race by pulling in 10.5 per cent of the vote.
Diotte, Loken, new councillors
Former Edmonton Sun columnist Kerry Diotte won the council seat in Ward 11.
He pulled in 44.3 per cent of the vote, to second-place Chinwe Okelu's 28.4 per cent.
"It's a good feeling," Diotte said. "It was a lot of hard work. I had an amazing team behind me.... We knocked on a lot of doors and that was the difference, I really, truly, believe that."
Dave Loken won the Ward 3 seat after running unsuccessfully in the last two elections. He faced eight other candidates in the ward, including Terry Demers, the former executive assistant to outgoing Coun. Ron Hayter.
"It felt different, the last few days ... and the reaction I was getting at the doors, and the phone calls we were getting," Loken said. "The name recognition — it was much different this time. It was really positive and pointing to a victory."
In Ward 7, incumbent Tony Caterina held on to his seat, despite a challenge from former Edmonton Journal civic affairs columnist Scott McKeen and social worker Brendan Van Alstine.
Caterina ended the evening with a comfortable margin of 1,869 votes over McKeen, his closest competitor.
Kim Krushell was in a fight for her seat in Ward 2 against pro-airport candidate Don Koziak, with only 60 votes separating the rivals at one point. However, Krushell's lead widened for her to take the seat by a margin of 539 votes.
Earlier, Krushell said she knew she'd be in for a fight because she was targeted by Envision Edmonton after voting in favour of closing the City Centre Airport.
"We knew that they were focusing in on Ward 2 because the airport's here and we knew that they were putting a lot of resources into this ward," she said.
The other incumbent councillors won their seats easily: Karen Leibovici was re-elected in Ward 5, Bryan Anderson in Ward 9, Don Iveson in Ward 10, Amerjeet Sohi in Ward 12, Ben Henderson in Ward 8, Ed Gibbons in Ward 4, Jane Batty in Ward 6 and Linda Sloan in Ward 1.
Voter turnout was 34.3 per cent, with 196,661 ballots cast out of an estimated 573,104 eligible voters. Voter turnout was 27.26 per cent in the 2007 Edmonton municipal election.
Osinchuk wins in Strathcona County
In Strathcona County, former councillor Linda Osinchuk ended Cathy Olesen's quest to win a third term as mayor, by winning13,299 votes to Olesen's 10,115.
"The people have spoken. They wanted some positive change and I am ready to work, right now, on behalf of the people in Strathcona County," Osinchuk told CBC News.
Osinchuk believes people in the county were frustrated over the revelation that the Sherwood Park Hospital would function more like a medical clinic when it opens in 2013, as well as a high-voltage transmission line proposed to run near the community.
Olesen sent a news release in September in which she was quoted praising the "tireless" efforts of the two area MLAs for moving the Sherwood Park hospital project forward.
In St. Albert, incumbent mayor Nolan Crouse easily beat challenger Shelley Biermanski. Crouse won with 10,778 votes to Biermanski's 4,955.
Envision Edmonton's unsuccessful fight to keep the City Centre Airport open spilled over into Edmonton's election, with the group backing a number of candidates, including Dorward.
The rancour peaked on the weekend, when it was revealed that Nathan Black, an Envision Edmonton spokesperson and Dorward campaign volunteer, had posed as a journalist and interviewed a city councillor and the leader of a group backing the airport closure.
However, Black denied having anything to do with writing a blog posting on the issue that accused Mandel of being in a conflict of interest over the closure. Dorward was quick to denounce Black's tactics.