PCs win Brandon East after nearly 50 years of NDP reign
Published Wednesday, April 20, 2016 8:17AM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, April 20, 2016 11:23AM CST
Brandon East was hit by the blue wave on election night after almost 50 years of an NDP stronghold.
Progressive Conservative candidate Len Isleifson won the formerly orange riding, sweeping NDP incumbent Drew Caldwell.
“Look in the mirror when you get home, because we’re all a part of history,” Isleifson told a crowd of supporters on election night.
Isleifson is the first non-NDP MLA elect in the constituency's history.
The former Brandon city councillor said he’s most proud of running an honest campaign.
"It was run with integrity, caring inclusion, common sense and a lot of teamwork. That's the only way we’re going to be successful in this province, is when we include all five of those when we go forward,” Isleifson said.
Isleifson beat out a 17-year NDP veteran who came to PC headquarters after the results were final to congratulate his opponent.
"I think the impetus towards change was really profound,” Caldwell said. “I think we’ve got, as a party, a lot of work to do to both understand that, and to respond to it, and to offer an alternative four years down the road"
Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest also stopped by Isleifson’s headquarters on election night to offer his congratulations.
Chrest said he already has joint projects in mind, like an upgraded water treatment plant.
“That's in the range of a $60 million project. The other big project that is critical to the future growth of Brandon is a new school," Chrest said.
During the campaign, the Tories didn’t commit to build a new school in Brandon East. However now that Isleifson holds the seat, he believes the change Manitoba wants is on the way
“I look forward to very, very soon coming back to you from the legislature, saying ‘yes, we will continue to put Brandon on the map, and we will build a better and stronger Brandon East’,” Isleifson said.