Edmonton

Moe Banga wins historic Ward 12 byelection

Moe Banga beat out 31 other candidates in a byelection Monday to replace Amarjeet Sohi as councillor for Ward 12.

After one month and 32 candidates, Ward 12 has a new councillor

In a landslide win, Moe Banga won the historic Ward 12 byelection with 2,359 votes. (Laura Osman/ CBC)

Moe Banga beat out 31 other candidates in a historic byelection Monday to replace Amarjeet Sohi as councillor for Ward 12.

Banga collected 2,359 votes, according to Edmonton Elections' preliminary results.

"I will be a councillor you will be proud of," he said during his victory speech at his campaign office before a large boisterous group of supporters.

Banga has served as a police officer for 24 years, mostly in the Millwoods area. He said now that he's been elected, he hopes to work to foster safer communities and increase transparency on council.

"First priority is … making sure people see city councillors and the mayor as their representatives, not somebody who is only worried about their own bits and parts," Banga said.

Edmonton Catholic school trustee Laura Thibert finished second, with 1,283 votes.

The results are unofficial until Tuesday, but early estimates suggest 13,283 voters cast ballots — just under 22 per cent of eligible voters. Edmonton Elections spokesperson Laurie Pettigrew said turnout was lower than expected.

"The turnout for the advanced vote was fairly high, so based on that we expected a few more," Pettigrew said.

Even so, voter lineups were stretched out the doors at several polling stations on Monday, waiting to cast their ballots in the historic by-election, which attracted the most candidates in a single ward in Alberta history.

Candidates began putting their names forward after former councillor Sohi won a seat for the Liberals in the federal election.

Sohi is now infrastructure minister in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government.

Banga will be sworn in as a councillor on Feb. 26 at 1:30 p.m.

Preliminary results

  1. Moe Banga 2,359
  2. Laura Thibert 1,283
  3. ​Arundeep Singh Sandu 1,106
  4. Irfan Chaudhry 950
  5. Nav Kaur 888

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