Jim Wright, the only challenger to the City of Armstrong council, has come out on top in the ballots.
Wright finished with 671 votes. Gary Froats came in second with 641, followed by Shirley Fowler with 638, Paul Britton with 581, Steven Drapala with 563 and Linda Fisher with 537. Incumbent Lance McGregor was close behind with 535 but did not get a seat on council.
A recount Monday confirmed the results.
“I’m very happy for Jim. For sure, he was involved a lot in seniors activities and he went door-to-door to talk to people,” Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper said. “Absolutely, he will be a welcome addition to council. He brings lots of passion to the community and to the job.”
Wright also brings experience to the table. He was a two-year councillor in Summerland in 1978 and 1979. He has lived in Armstrong for the past 25 years.
“It was a pleasant surprise,” said a slimmed-down Wright of being elected to council. “I guess all that knocking on doors for days — I lost about 10 pounds but that’s a good thing — so I was able to listen to people, get feedback and leave them a bit of information. That really helped a lot, I think.
“I see myself fitting in right away. I’m someone who has always been a team player. A couple (of the incumbents) have phoned me and congratulated me but I’ve met them and known them. I’m looking forward to working with Mayor Chris and the rest of council. They seem like a really open-minded group there.”
McGregor was originally listed as having finished seventh four years ago, but a clerical error discovered over the weekend resulted in McGregor being declared fifth overall, with 473 votes. Fisher got the final spot with 450 votes.
Of an estimated 3,854 eligible voters, 864 votes were cast.
Pieper said there was an automatic recount Monday due to the closeness of the two votes separating Fisher and McGregor.
Fowler finished first four years ago, collecting 713 votes. Britton, who will serve a seventh consecutive term, was second four years ago with 679 votes.
Drapala, a challenger in ‘14, was third with 591 votes, 50 more than the late Ron (Sully) O’Sullivan, who died in office in May 2016. A by-election was held in November that year with Froats the winner.