Dave Loken, the former city councillor who lost his seat in Ward 3 Monday night, said he was the subject of a smear campaign.
“We ran a positive, upbeat campaign,” he said. “We did not smear anybody. We ran a campaign on issues and I think that’s what has to happen.
“There was some very negative campaigning, smear campaigning, things that we did not react to — we took the high road — things that I’m not going to talk about on the radio.”
In August, another candidate claimed he and Loken had a threatening interaction at an event. Police looked into the allegations and later closed the investigation. No charges were laid.
Loken said despite the negativity his team faced, they tried to stay above it.
“By far the nastiest, dirtiest campaign against me out here this time and we soldiered on,” he said. “We thought we had enough to win.”
“There are so many fallacies that are being perpetuated here. I’m disappointed to even hear Mr. Dziadyk talking about, ‘This Ward 3 first, north Edmonton second, the city third.’ It just doesn’t work that way… It’s a bunch of bull.”
Political upstart Jon Dziadyk won the Ward 3 seat from Loken in Monday’s civic election.
As of 11:13 p.m. Monday, unofficial results showed Dziadyk had captured 4,354 votes while Loken had 3,890.
“I entered this race thinking I could win,” Dziadyk said Monday night. “I’ll admit I was a bit naive.
“I didn’t know how much would be spent by my opponents and I came in this with a very modest budget, only a couple of thousand dollars… I don’t have any institutional support from corporations or unions, just some good people, good family.”
Watch below: In an extremely tight race, newcomer Jon Dziadyk defeated incumbent Edmonton councillor Dave Loken in Ward 3 in Monday night’s election. Gord Steinke speaks with Dziadyk to hear more about his platform.
“Unbelievable,” said MacEwan University political scientist Chaldeans Mensah. “This is really the surprise of the night.”
During an interview with 630 CHED Afternoon News, Loken said he resents the suggestion he was not putting north Edmonton at the top of his priority list. He said he had a lot of projects in the works.
“We’ve paved I don’t know how many roads,” he said. “In the hopper, I had the Beaumaris Lake rehab plans, we’re reviewing the transit system right now, Bev Esslinger and I had a plan — which I won’t be a part of now — to build this bus bridge which is going to bring an express bus, three parks and playground projects that I was very active in.
“This stuff about me not being active in the community? It just drives me nuts,” Loken said.
Loken had served two terms on Edmonton City Council.
— With files from Emily Mertz, Global News