Clear win for PC Natalie Jameson in P.E.I.'s deferred election
Green John Andrew comes in 2nd with 709 votes
Progressive Conservative candidate Natalie Jameson has won the deferred election in Prince Edward Island's District 9 Charlottetown–Hillsborough Park with 43.7 per cent of the vote, or 1,080 votes.
"What an amazing journey this has been and will continue to be in the week and months and years ahead!" Jameson said in her victory speech at the Hillsborough Community Centre in Charlottetown.
"I'm so humbled that you've placed your faith and trust in me to represent you. I promise to work hard every day as your next MLA."
The next closest candidates were the Green Party's John Andrew with 709 votes and Liberal Karen Lavers with 635. Gordon Gay with the NDP trailed with 46 votes.
Jameson will be the 27th member of the P.E.I. Legislature. The vote was deferred from the April 23 provincial election after Green candidate Josh Underhay, 35, died in a canoeing accident with his six-year-old son Oliver on the Hillsborough River on April 19.
The April 23 election resulted in the first minority government in P.E.I. history. Under new leader Dennis King the PCs won the most seats with 12, the Greens eight, and the Liberals six. The balance of power in the legislature will not change now that the PCs, with Jameson, have 13.
Jameson bring the number of women in the PC caucus to two, along with Finance Minister Darlene Compton. She is the only PC MLA elected in either of the Island's two cities.
"She has a tremendous skill set," King told reporters after Jameson's win. "She has many things that you would look for as you go about building, or reconstructing a cabinet. And so to that I would say stay tuned but it's certainly great to have options going forward."
King said he also saw the win as a vote of confidence in how the PCs have been governing so far.
'Pay tribute to his memory'
In her speech, Jameson paused to remember Underhay.
"While tonight is certainly a time for celebration I would be amiss if I didn't mention one of the most important members of this district, Josh Underhay," she said.
"Josh and Oliver's passing sits heavy in our hearts tonight ... Their presence is dearly missed and I hope that in my work, I can pay tribute to his memory."
She congratulated her opponents for running what she called a "fair, positive" campaign, and thanked her husband Dennis for his support. The couple has two children, William and Henry, who Jameson said enjoyed seeing her face on the campaign van, which they called "the mommy van."
She said she plans to meet with King and the caucus Tuesday.
Jameson grew up in the district and recently moved back home to P.E.I. after working in Calgary for several years. She was nominated as the PC candidate in June.
She worked with non-profit groups, human resources and accounting and has volunteered with charities and organizations across the country.
She focused on seniors housing options and access to family doctors in her campaign.
Elections P.E.I. says a total of 2,476 people voted in the election, for a turnout of 60.39 per cent. Thirty-four per cent of eligible voters cast their ballot during advance polls.
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With files from Kevin Yarr