Calgarians have some familiar faces leading them for the next four years.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi has been awarded his third term on the civic throne, along with all 10 council incumbents. But his win didn’t come without a fight.
As Nenshi put it in his victory speech, this year’s campaign was more about “personality than policy.”
— Thomas Bogda (@tpbogda) October 17, 2017
His closest challenger, Bill Smith, came a close second with over 169,360 votes.
In Smith’s concession speech, he mentioned he had two speeches at the ready but would read neither.
He instead said he doesn’t think he’s done because of one loss, but provided no indication of his future plans.
The tight race brought thousands of Calgarians out to vote during advanced polling and on election night.
Jack Lucas, assistant professor at the University of Calgary tweeted the 2017 election was the third-highest turnout in 100 years.
— Jack Lucas (@lucasjacklucas) October 17, 2017
The advanced polling turnout alone, at 74,965 votes, tripled 2013’s total early voting results of 22,410 ballots.
However, election night was not without its faults. Long waits and ballot shortages fuelled frustration in voters.
Nearly an hour before polls closed at 8 p.m. the City of Calgary notified voters via Twitter that more ballots were being sent to all polling stations across Calgary.
Due to high voter turnout, additional ballots are being sent to all voting stations across the city. #yycvote
— City of Calgary (@cityofcalgary) October 17, 2017
Some polling stations had line-ups around the block, even once polls closed, with some people waiting more than 90-minutes to cast their vote.
— Thomas Bogda (@tpbogda) October 17, 2017
Stay. In. Line. If they’re out of ballots, wait for more. People elsewhere in the world literally DIE trying to do this. #yycvote
— Joey Oberhoffner (@oberhoffner) October 17, 2017
Frustrations mounted later in the evening when the Elections Calgary website crashed. It was unable to give real-time updates on the election which left many angry at the process.
— Jason D (@Jdyahoo911) October 17, 2017
Ward 1 saw a tight race near the end of the night between incumbent Ward Sutherland and challenger Coral Bliss Taylor. Sutherland won with over 14,300 votes compared to Bliss Taylor’s 10,601.
The Ward 1 race did not go without controversy. At the last candidate’s forum, Sutherland made an anti-Semitic remark, caught on video. Facing backlash, Sutherland said he meant to say Jimmy Choo, the London-based shoe designer, instead of “Johnny Jew from New York” when answering a question about public art.
— Deanna (@_deetuck) October 17, 2017
In Ward 2, it was also a surprisingly close race for a while, with newcomer Jennifer Wyness hot on the heels of incumbent Joe Magliocca. However, near midnight Magliocca was declared the winner by just 3,151 votes.
While in Ward 7, Druh Farrell, who has served on council since 2001, was elected by a margin of just 837 votes between her and Brent Alexander.
Other tight races were in Wards 4 and 8, with both incumbents Sean Chu and Evan Woolley, respectively, keeping their seats.
There are also some fresh faces on council. In Ward 3, Jyoti Gondek was elected the new councillor, after incumbent Jim Stevenson did not run again.
Ward boundary changes left an open seat in Ward 5, which George Cahal managed to take with 40.6 per cent of the votes.
While in Ward 6, Jeff Davison took the place of Richard Pootmans, who like Pincott and Stevenson, decided to step away from the council limelight.
In Ward 11, incumbent Brian Pincott did not run again which opened the way for Jeromy Farkas to be voted in.
— Chelsey Mutter (@ChelseyMutter) October 17, 2017
That brings the total number of women on council to three of 15 seats. Druh Farrell and Diane Colley-Urquhart were both re-elected.
City council is a familiar one, but that doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing from here on out.
One of the contentious issues of the campaign is whether or not Calgary will have a new arena.
Some people are certainly unhappy with the election night results. In a since-deleted tweet, the Calgary Flames Communications director tweeted about the result and called Nenshi worse than President Donald Trump.
— Nathan Woolridge (@NathanPolitics) October 17, 2017
Other hot button election issues included secondary suites, bike lanes, public art and property tax hikes. We will most certainly hear more of those in the coming days of the new council.
The new councillors will be sworn in on Oct. 23 at 2 p.m.
All voter data was taken from the Elections Calgary website Oct. 17, 2017.