Mike Savage will be the next mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality.

Savage finished well ahead of the second place candidate, Tom Martin. Savage won 57.7 per cent of the vote with 63,547 ballots. Martin placed second with 19.9 per cent, with 21,912 ballots. Fred Connors was a close third, with 18.4 per cent and 20,277 ballots. The remaining candidates all took under two per cent each.

Savage said he felt confident heading into Saturday's results.

"I felt very positive about the reception that I had, about the optimism that exists in this community, so yeah, we felt very positive," Savage told CBC News. "It's very humbling."

Savage is the former Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP, and the son of former Nova Scotia Premier Dr. John Savage.

"I came to believe over the last number of months that what we need here is somebody who can work with council — not against council — but with council to find consensus, and get things done in a very positive way."

'The potential is unbelievable in Halifax. Unbelievable. We just have to get out of our own way sometimes. Work together, and get stuff done.'

 

—Mike Savage

The mayor-elect said his experience in politics has prepared him to take on the tough role.

"The potential is unbelievable in Halifax. Unbelievable. We just have to get out of our own way sometimes. Work together, and get stuff done."

Savage said he will use his first days in office to meet with councillors and establish new priorities.

Savage had some high profile supporters. Federal Liberals Bob Rae and Justin Trudeau tweeted their support for him on Saturday night.

He celebrated his victory at the Dartmouth Sportsplex with a cheering crowd. 

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Mike Savage is congratulated by his supporters Saturday night. (CBC)

Savage thanked outgoing Mayor Peter Kelly for his 12 years at the helm of the city. He said the two would meet on Monday to discuss the transition.

Savage said people will notice a change at city council when he takes charge.

"For a long time in this municipality, we've allowed decisions of the past to slow us down. We worry about the challenges and not the opportunity."

Savage said after months of campaigning, he hoped to attend church Sunday morning and squeeze in some time to watch football before getting down to work.

High turnout from voters

Aaron Eisses, Steve Mackie, and Robert Wesley McCormack were also in the race.

There was a late surge in voters before the advance polls closed Thursday night. Voters had the option of voting online and on the phone over a 12-day period. In total, 22 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot before election day.

The new mayor will be the third for HRM. Walter Fitzgerald held the job after amalgamation. He was defeated by Peter Kelly in 2000, who has led the city for 12 years.

Kelly announced earlier this year he would not reoffer after a series of controversies surrounding payments to a concert promoter and his handling of a friend’s estate.