Peter Leon will take over as councillor for Ward 3, following Thursday's vote at Toronto city council.
The Etobicoke businessman won the seat, vacated by Doug Holyday, with 26 votes on the third ballot, edging out former provincial cabinet minister Chris Stockwell and some 40 other contenders. Stockwell got 16 votes on the final ballot, while Agnes Potts received a single vote.
Leon said he was grateful to his new colleagues for choosing him to join their ranks.
"Wow, what a feeling!" Leon said, telling reporters that he was looking forward to working on behalf of the people in the ward.
Stockwell was the preferred choice of the Etobicoke York Community Council when it met last week. But that decision wasn't binding and the candidates made their pitches to the Toronto council earlier today.
Leon admitted feeling a bit overwhelmed, especially in light of the fact that the community council preferred Stockwell.
"That was a bit of a surprise," said Leon, noting that he had received a lot of support from his friends and family, as well as his predecessor.
"I think Mr. Holyday certainly was very supportive for me and in the end I believe that had a big difference on it."
Holyday left council for Queen's Park when he won a provincial byelection in August. Holyday said he wanted Leon to fill the seat until next fall’s municipal election.
Each candidate was asked whether they would run again. Most have said they won't, but there is no rule that prevents them from seeking office in next fall's municipal election.
Mayor Rob Ford had opposed having council appoint a new councillor, preferring that a byelection be called in the ward instead.
But after council chose to go with an appointment process, Ford said he would have to support it.
Ford voted for Stockwell on all three ballots. But after Leon was chosen, the mayor released a statement welcoming him to council.
In a statement, Ford expressed confidence that Leon will "play an important role" in advancing the goals of his administration.
When asked if he expects to be an ally of the mayor, Leon said he believed Ford was doing "a great job."
Leon said Ford is "bringing to the people of Toronto what he says he’s going to bring and we've got to keep that going."