Women made history in New Brunswick cities, towns and villages during Monday night’s municipal election, with some being elected the first female mayor of their local councils, and elected women outnumbering men in some ridings.
Unofficial statistics from Elections New Brunswick show more women were elected as mayors and councillors than the past two elections.
In Riverview, Ann Seamans will be the first woman to lead the town.
The long-time councillor had about 1,000 more votes than her closest competitor.
Seamans says the time was right for her to be mayor — not because she's a woman — but because of her experience.
She has been on the town council for 14 years and elected deputy mayor three times.
"I've always worked on council believing in what I did, not because of being a woman, and all my decisions were always made on facts," she said.
"I don't really think there's any different expectation. I think people are looking for a strong mayor who is going to represent our town well."
Outgoing mayor Clarence Sweetland decided not to re-offer.
Cecile Cassista was elected councillor at large and Lana Hansen was elected as the new councillor of Ward 1, bringing the total number of women on the eight-member council to three.
More women on Shediac council
In Shediac, Laura Gallant, who has been the only woman on town council for the past four years, was the only incumbent re-elected Monday.
Gallant will be one of six women on the nine-member council.
Gallant said she's not surprised. Many voters told her during the campaign that they wanted to see more women elected because they wanted a change, she said.
"We have some young people in there, young females, and I think it'll be good for the young families of the town and they'll have more of a voice," said Gallant.
Women will also outnumber the men on Miramichi’s council, five to four.
In Saint John, four women will sit on the 11-member council.
Numbers steadily climbing
Of the 1,068 municipal candidates across the province, 777 were men (72.7 per cent) and 291, women (27.2 per cent).
Nineteen women were elected as mayors (18.1 per cent) and 168 as councillors (31.6 per cent), according to unofficial results from Elections New Brunswick.
That's an increase over the past two elections.
In 2008, there were 16 female mayors elected (15.4 per cent) and 150 councillors (28.6 per cent).
In 2004, New Brunswick had 13 women elected as mayors (12.7 per cent) and 131 successful female council candidates (24.9 per cent)
Women also represent 75 per cent of the new Horizon Health Network board and half of the board members on the French-language health network, Vitalité, are also women.
Men outnumber women on the new district education councils, however — 71.88 per cent, compared to 28.12 per cent.