CHATHAM-KENT: Hope Re-Elected

Mayor Randy Hope embraces his wife Diane after being re-elected as mayor the third time in Chatham-Kent. (Photo by Matt Weverink)

Randy Hope is returning as Chatham-Kent’s mayor for a third term.

“I really want to leave this job with a legacy, not as ‘I’m glad to get rid of him,'” Hope said when asked if he’ll be running for a fourth term in 2018. “I would like to leave as ‘it was Mayor Hope that did that, it was Mayor Hope and council that did that, it was Mayor Hope and administration and we were able to do this.'” Hope led the way over outgoing Ward 6┬ácouncillor Marjorie Crew, taking in 9,242 votes to Crew’s 7,844 according to the unofficial results. That is Hope’s lowest vote total since he was first elected in 2006 with 11,614 votes.

Crew was the only councillor running in the election. She says that, despite the loss, she will still be involved in the community and municipality. She adds she believes she lives in the best community in Canada. “Whoever leads it, has a challenge because we do have issues. But we need to recognize our strengths and grow those. Make sure the people are involved and not left out.”

Bryon Fluker is re-elected in Ward 1, alongside newcomer Mark Authier. In Ward 2, Trevor Thompson finished at the top, followed by incumbents Frank Vercouteren and Karen Herman. “You have to be confident, but you don’t want to be cocky. I was expecting to eke in a third place if I was going to make it at all,” says Thompson, adding the votes reflect his commitment to go where no other candidates had gone before. “People saying to me nobody has ever stopped on this street before, or this town before, or my door before. I didn’t take anything for granted.”

In Ward 3, incumbent Steve Pinnsoneault returns alongside newcomer David Vandamme. In Ward 4, incumbents Leon LeClair and Joe Faas are returning. In Ward 5, incumbent Jeff Wesley is re-elected alongside newcomer Carmen McGregor. And in Ward 6, newcomers Darrin Canniff and Brock McGregor join incumbents Michael Bondy, Derek Robertson, Doug Sulman and Bob Myers.