In one of the more highly anticipated Central Alberta mayoral races, Grant Creasey finally came out on top in Lacombe.
Creasey ran in 2013, losing to Steve Christie by just 63 votes.
This time around, Creasey defeated fellow former City Councillor Peter Bouwsema by a margin of 1964 votes to 1417.
“I'm very pleased with the results," Creasey said late Monday night. "I really haven't had time to take a close look at the numbers, but from what I can tell we have a varied and qualified group to work with and I'm really looking forward to it."
Just one incumbent was re-elected in Lacombe, Reuben Konnik, which the Creasey says he was pleased to see.
“I can't say I was shocked he was the only one, but I was expecting there to be at least one more,” he admitted. “That's what the people have made perfectly clear is they wanted some positive change in our city and they elected the council and mayor that they wanted, so you have to respect that."
Approaching quickly for the new council in Lacombe is budget time. Creasey points out the rookie group of councillors combined with vacancies in administration may lead to things being somewhat more time-consuming than some may like, at least in the beginning.
Creasey said seeing only a 34 per cent voter turnout in Lacombe was disappointing.
"It's nice we were higher than other areas, but really a third is very dismal. I was hoping for much higher voter turnout."
Creasey acknowledged that he does have large boots to fill with the departure of Steve Christie, who served on council for 13 years.
“We certainly had our differences, but there were some positive things he was able to accomplish, along with council as well,” Creasey said. “I look forward to building on some of those and perhaps altering some of the ones I wasn't too fond of."
Meanwhile, Bouwsema took his defeat in stride, saying he felt his team ran a great campaign.
"For the City of Lacombe, having that many fresh faces on council is going to make the work that much more difficult for administration," he said. "They knew ahead of time there was a distinct possibility that this would happen and they now have to approach that with the understanding some things may not go as quick as they would before. Budget deliberations are coming up very shortly. There's lots of work to do."
Bouwsema wouldn't rule out another run for council or mayor in 2021, but said he's just happy to be able to spend a little more time with family for now.
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