Gerry Lowe wins byelection in Saint John's Ward 3

Gerry Lowe, a Saint John developer and businessman, won a hotly contested byelection in the city's Ward 3 on Monday night.

Lowe earned 1,028 votes followed by Michelle Hooton's 816 votes

Gerry Lowe defeated Michelle Hooton, a former deputy mayor of the city, along with six other candidates in Monday night's Ward 3 byelection. (Neville Crabbe/CBC)

Saint John businessman Gerry Lowe was elected in a byelection on Monday night, defeating seven other candidates including a former deputy mayor of the city.

Lowe pulled in 1,028 votes on Monday compared to Michelle Hooton's 816. The third-place finisher was Anne-Marie Mullin, who earned 273 votes in the byelection.

Deputy Mayor Shelley Rinehart was among those congratulating Lowe in person on Monday night.

Ward 3 byelection results
Gerry Lowe1,028
Michelle Hooton816
Anne-Marie Mullin273
Graeme Stewart-Robertson264
Mark LeBlanc225
Barbara Ellemberg74
Brian Boyd69
Allen Leslie24

Mayor Mel Norton called from Calgary business trip to congratulate Lowe on his byelection victory.

Lowe said the mayor and councillors are steering the city in the right direction now, but he said he will be asking tough questions when he gets on council.

"As far as I'm concerned it's moving very well. I mean I've got to get into it and find out some different things. Maybe some people think a lot of people don't question decisions," he said.

There were 2,782 votes cast in the byelection, giving it a 23.8 per cent voter turnout.

Hooton said some people in the ward may not have been as motivated to vote because there is no longer the widespread discontent with council that was seen before the 2012 municipal election.

"People are happy. So maybe there was a little bit of a feeling that, 'Oh, you know what my vote's not going to matter today, things are fine,'" she said.

Dirty tricks in campaign

The victory celebration at an uptown bar on Monday night was a high point at the end of a campaign where Lowe appeared to be singled out for some dirty tricks.

"What they did to me was garbage," Lowe said.

In the last week of the campaign, with the businessman a recognized frontrunner, anonymous posters appeared with him caricatured as the devil.

Lowe said other signs called him a racist.

Lowe said it was not the work of one of the other campaigns and he believes in the end the posters backfired.

The byelection was called to replace disgraced former councillor Donnie Snook, who resigned his seat in January after being charged with three counts of touching a child for a sexual purpose, one count of making child pornography, two counts of distributing and two counts of possession of child pornography