Brandon votes in new mayor, unseating incumbent
Voters in several rural Manitoba communities shook things up on Election Day.
In Brandon, what some thought could be a close race became a runaway win for former city councillor Rick Chrest. With 9,000 votes, Chrest more than doubled what incumbent Mayor Shari Decter Hirst got.
"I don't want to sound very cocky, but I only wrote one speech," said Chrest.
At Decter Hirst's campaign office, the cheers got quieter throughout the night as the numbers rolled in. After winning by a wide margin in 2010, Decter Hirst only lasted one term.
Despite leading the city through two floods and landing WestJet air service, it appears Brandon voters wanted a change.
"Certainly it would appear we've been given a clear mandate,” said Chrest. “I'm anxious to roll up my sleeves and get cracking."
When it became clear Chrest had won, Decter Hirst and her husband arrived at a lively campaign office to offer the new mayor congratulations.
"I wish you all the success, Rick. I know we both love this city and we want all that's the best for this city. Again, well done," she said.
Chrest says his first order of business is to meet with the new Brandon city council.
- With a report by Josh Crabb