Manitoba

Rick Chrest defeats Shari Decter Hirst to be elected Brandon mayor

The western Manitoba city of Brandon has a new mayor, with Rick Chrest defeating incumbent Shari Decter Hirst in Wednesday's civic election, CBC News projects.

Former deputy mayor says he's 'very humbled, very grateful' to win city's top job

Rick Chrest celebrates at his campaign headquarters after winning the mayoral race in Brandon, Man., defeating incumbent Shari Decter Hirst. 0:35

The western Manitoba city of Brandon has a new mayor, with Rick Chrest defeating incumbent Shari Decter Hirst in Wednesday's civic election.

Chrest secured just under 65 per cent of the vote, followed by Decter Hirst with 30 per cent, according to the City of Brandon's unofficial election results.

Rounding out the pack were Mark Kovatch and John Paul Jacobson.

Rick Chrest celebrates his election as mayor of Brandon, Man., at his campaign headquarters on Wednesday night. (Jill Coubrough/CBC)
"I think it was a wider margin than I expected," Chrest told CBC News.

Brandon's election results funnelled in so slowly, he said it took the steam out of the win.

"It felt a little anti-climactic, but now it's fantastic. We felt pretty good about it coming into tonight. We worked really, really hard," he said. "Very humbled, very grateful."

Chrest is the owner of Leon's Furniture in Brandon and was a deputy mayor for eight years up until 2006. He said he decided to return to public service because of his love for the city. 

"The timing was right," he said, adding that his three children are now grown.

Anxious to 'get cracking'

Chrest said his first order of business is to meet everyone on council, then zero in on Brandon's city budget — deliberations start 10 weeks from election day.

"I'm anxious to roll up my sleeves and get cracking," he said, calling the budget "council's largest duty of the year."

He said his priority is to keep growing the city, while keeping taxes in line.

Decter Hirst took in the results at home, but she later paid a visit Chrest's campaign headquarters to congratulate him. She declined to speak to media about the loss. 

Joining Chrest on council are Kris Desjarlais, Lonnie Patterson, Ron W. Brown and Vanessa Hamilton, who won their ward races, along with Jeff Fawcett, Barry Cullen, Jeff Harwood, John LoRegio, Shawn Berry and Jan Chaboyer, who were acclaimed.

With files from the CBC's Jill Coubrough