The mayoral election in Brockville came down to the wire between Mark Oliver and Jason Baker.
READ MORE: Brockville election results 2018
Oliver was joined by dozens of supporters and family at the Georgian Dragon Ale House & Pub on Monday Oct. 22, as they waited for the final tally of votes. As the clock ticked down to the announcement, Oliver and his family were huddled in the corner of the restaurant, trying their best to calm their nerves.
Then, at approximately 9:30 p.m., the news broke that former councilor Jason baker had won the Brockville mayoral election — by a margin of 19 votes.
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Once Oliver received the results, he was consoled by family and friends but was quick to address his supporters and thank them for their aid in his campaign.
“This is not easy, and it’s disappointing for our team. I cannot thank everyone enough for their support and generosity throughout this process,” said Oliver.
Baker, who has served over 20 years on city council, held an election party at Kelsey’s with supporters and family.
Once the election results were released, the restaurant filled with former and newly-elected city officials, including former Brockville mayor David Henderson.
“It is an honour to be the mayor of Brockville and certainly one that I am going to respect and value. There is a serious job ahead and we have to get started as soon a possible,” said Baker, after hearing he won the mayoral election.
Baker told Global News it is crucial that any ego be removed from the mayor’s office, and that he will spread the responsibility to city officials rather than having one person make all of the decisions.
“The biggest thing is to return the mayor’s job to what its supposed to be, and that’s a part-time role, where the experts run the city and the council runs the day to day vision,” said Baker.
Henderson said he was not surprised that the election was close, but said he has never seen an election that come down to 19 votes. He continued by saying not only will there be a new mayor, but that there will be four new council members as well, and believes the balance of incumbents and newly elected members will benefit the community.
Henderson will continue to serve as mayor for another six weeks before Baker takes his seat.