Conception Bay South voters said out with Woodrow French and in with Ken McDonald, unseating their incumbent mayor convincingly.
And it was not just the mayor. Voters rejected several other incumbents, including longtime councillor Sandra Baggs, who’s served on council for the past 13 years.
“I’m still quite in shock, because there’s a couple of awfully good people gone, and you know, new people going in,” Baggs said. “I guess there’s just a lot of apathy there, and people didn’t get out and vote.”
McDonald beat out French by more than 1,500 votes for the mayor’s chair.
Paul Connors, Ken George, Beverly Rowe and Kirk Youden were elected as councillors at large. Rex Hillier was acclaimed in Ward 1, Stephen Tessier was narrowly elected in Ward 2, Gerard Tilley won Ward 3 by a comfortable margin, and Richard Murphy was acclaimed in Ward 4.
McDonald said he felt people were responding to his style on council over the past four years.
“I think it has to do with my representation on the ward — I’ve spoke up on many issues, not just my ward, but also on other wards,” he said. “I don’t intend to change anything in the way I represented the people of my ward versus representing the entire town.”
French, meanwhile, said he’s leaving with his head held high after eight years as mayor of C.B.S.
“Certainly I had nothing to be ashamed of,” he said. “We’ve got a new stadium, we’ve had over $100 million come into the town, a new town hall underway, a new fire station underway.”
He said he wouldn’t rule out a return to politics, but another run in C.B.S. isn’t terribly likely.
“I think I’m pretty well done with the municipal thing. I’ve accomplished just about everything I set out to do.”
*This article has been corrected