There were still a few polls to be counted in the 2017 municipal election, but Davis’s victory as a councilor-at-large was official.
“I’m shaking,” she said smiling. “It’s such an honour. All those voted and all those people believed in me. I'm humbled.”
Davis took an early lead in voting and continued to increase it as more poll results came in at the hall, where a crowd, including many of the candidates gathered.
At Davis’s side was her husband Paul Davis, former premier and head of the provincial Conservative party.
“He’s been my No. 1 fan,” said Cheryl Davis, who said her husband helped make her signs. “But I’ve always been his No. 1 fan too. He’s helped me a lot.”
Paul Davis said he couldn't be more proud of her.
“I can’t tell you how hard she worked the last four weeks — out in the rain, wind and sun,” Paul Davis said. “Every day she'd get up and say we have to push and work harder.”
“And I’m proud of the determination and conviction she’s shown when she decided to run. I think she’s going to make a great councillor.”
Paul Davis, who got his start in politics as a town councillor for three terms before running for provincial politics, said he gave her a few tips.
“Once she made the decision to run, I told her I was behind her and would do whatever she wanted me to do,” he said. “I fully supported her and did what I could to help her campaign.”
There’s a big provincial government connection in C.B.S. council.
Former MHA Terry French is new mayor, having been acclaimed. French, the president of Construction Labour Relations Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, served in several cabinet positions with the provincial government between 2002 and 2014.
He said he knows he and his new council have plenty of work ahead of them.
“I’m looking forward to it,” French said about being the new mayor. “I’ve slowing been getting myself up to speed with different departments.
French may not have had to campaign, but said plenty of residents are still contacting him about various issues.
“People have their wish list and we, as a council, have to find money to tackle these issues,” he said. “Sometimes it may mean taking from one pot and putting into another. We’re going to have to make some tough decisions.”
French said, “It will be more about keeping up what we have.” He said the town has invested tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure, which requires upkeep.
“We’re the second biggest municipality in the province. We have to start behaving like one,” he said.
French said the priority for this year is to prepare a budget, which must be submitted to the provincial government by year’s end.
“That’s a lot of work to do in a short period of time,” he said. “But I’m looking forward to getting to work.”
Former MHA Rex Hillier was also elected.
“I enjoy municipal politics. I've spent more time at municipal politics than provincial,” he said. “I like it because you're closer to the people. You run into them around town and they're more prone to chat with you.”
Other councilors-at-large elected were: Kirk Youden (re-elected) and Christine Butler, who beat out incumbent Paul Connors by about 270 votes when all 41 polls were counted.
Darrin Bent was acclaimed in Ward 1; Junior Bursey was voted in Ward 2, replacing outgoing councillor Evan Bursey, his second cousin; Gerard Tilley was re-elected in Ward 3, while Richard Murphy was re-elected in Ward 4.