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Politics

HRM councillor Steve Craig unofficially wins Sackville-Cobequid byelection for the PCs

WATCH: Steve Craig, who won the byelection for Sackville-Cobequid Tuesday night, submitted his formal resignation on Wednesday. Jeremy Keefe reports.

Halifax Regional Municipality councillor and Progressive Conservative representative Steve Craig has unofficially won the Sackville-Cobequid byelection.

Craig tallied 2,655 votes to unofficially win the seat. The race was a dead heat between Craig and Lara Fawthrop of the NDP, who lost by only 183 votes.

Also running in Sackville-Cobequid were the Liberal Party’s Michel Hindlet, Anthony Edmonds of the Greens and David F. Boyd of the Atlantica Party.

According to Elections Nova Scotia, 6,316 votes were received of the 15,177 eligible voters in Sackville-Cobequid. Twenty votes were rejected and voter turnout was at 41.75 per cent. 

READ MORE: Nova Scotia NDP house leader Dave Wilson retires after 15 years in legislature

The seat in the constituency opened up in November when NDP MLA Dave Wilson announced he was stepping down. Premier Stephen McNeil called the election last month.

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Wilson was first elected in 2003 and served as minister in several portfolios, including communities, culture and heritage; health; and Acadian affairs in the previous NDP government under former premier Darrell Dexter.

He served as the NDP house leader leading up to his decision to step down Fawthrop was chosen to represent the NDP back in February.

WATCH: N.S. NDP select Sackville-Cobequid byelection candidate

N.S. NDP select Sackville-Cobequid byelection candidate
N.S. NDP select Sackville-Cobequid byelection candidate

Craig found himself in hot water during the campaign, after the NDP accused him of breaching the Elections Act for using municipal resources to promote himself as a candidate.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia NDP file complaint against PC candidate in Sackville-Cobequid byelection

The NDP’s provincial secretary Jamie Masse complaint pointed to a $20,000 cheque that was given to the Friends of First Lake Society, as well as a newsletter Craig sent to the community in his capacity as councillor.

But a decision from Elections Nova Scotia Chief Electoral Officer Richard Temporale found that Craig did not violate the existing rules.

WATCH: Elections Nova Scotia suggests change to the rules for municipal politicians

Elections Nova Scotia suggests change to the rules for municipal politicians
Elections Nova Scotia suggests change to the rules for municipal politicians

The complaint sparked a discussion surrounding whether rules within the Elections Act should be changed for municipal politicians running a provincial campaign.

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— With files from Jeremy Keefe and Alicia Draus.