Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Darlene Norman is the new mayor for the Region of Queens Municipality according to unofficial results from the October 17, 2020 municipal election, released just after 11:00 p.m.
Norman garnered 1,336 votes, or 35.4 per cent of the total 3,775 votes that were cast.
This year, 43.7 per cent of eligible voters took to the polls.
Not far behind in the mayoral race was Susan MacLeod, who earned 29.3 per cent of the vote, with 1,106. She was trailed by incumbent mayor David Dagley, with 24 per cent or 845 votes. Contender Brian Fralic came in fourth, garnering just 12.3 per cent or 466 votes.
Norman was a councillor for District 1 from 2000 to 2016, when she lost to councillor Kevin Muise. She indicated she can't wait to get back into the council chambers.
"I am very appreciative that the people of Queens have put their trust in me," she commented after the results were known.
Norman said she ran for office, "because I love municipal politics. I believe in the county of which I live and believe we have a great future. I have looked at our past council and see all the disconnections, and I simply want people to get along, work together and move together for the community."
She hopes to bring the knowledge and experience she gained through 16 years on council to the mayor's chair.
"I learned not to have set agendas when you go into council. I learned that we represent the entire region, not to harbour grudges and work together as a team."
As mayor, her first priority will be to get out and meet and talk with the county residents. Rather than spending five days a week in an office, she wants to be a mayor with an ear to the ground " listening to the needs of our municipality."
Meanwhile, five new councillors will be in seats around the council table.
Here's a look at how things played out in each district:
District 1 – Incumbent Kevin Muise will be back in the council chambers after garnering 39.3 per cent, or 249 of the 633 ballots cast. He defeated challengers Tara Smith, who finished second with 198 votes, and Scott Christian with 181. A total of 48.4 per cent of eligible voters came out to cast their vote in this district.
District 2 – Heather Kelly looking for another term in office was defeated by Ralph Gidney, who captured 64.5 per cent or 282 of 437 votes cast. Kelly received the other 152. A total of 36.5 per cent of eligible voters cast their vote.
District 3 – Maddie Charlton captured 74.3 per cent of the 690 votes cast. She defeated Roger Jollimore who only managed 173 votes. A total of 54.6 per cent of eligible voters came out to have their say in this one.
District 4 – Vicki Amirault earned 53.9 per cent or 314 of the 583 ballots cast. She defeated Allan Laws who had 148 votes and Dan MacLaren who captured 120 votes. Voter turnout was 50.4 per cent.
District 5 – Incumbent Jack Fancy will be back for another four-year term. He earned 325 votes or 67.6 per cent of the 481 votes cast. He defeated challenger Leslie Robart who picked up 154 votes. Voter turnout was 42.7 per cent.
District 6 – David Brown picked up 363 votes or 62.4 per cent of the 582 votes cast. He was up against Jason Croft, who earned 234 votes. The voter turnout was 42.1 per cent of eligible voters.
District 7 – Gil Johnson, who was seeking another term in office, was defeated by Carl Hawkes in a close race. Hawkes earned 187 of 336 votes cast (55.7 per cent), while Johnson picked up 148 votes. The voter turnout was just 28.6 per cent.
Official results are expected to be released in a few days.