Former CHCH-TV reporter Lisa Hepfner has become the MP for Hamilton Mountain days after the federal election decision was held up amid a tight race.
As of Thursday with 155 of 155 polls on the Mountain reporting an estimated 48,504 votes were cast in the riding with Hepfner picking up 34.1 per cent (16,547) ahead of the NDP’s Malcolm Allen who garnered 32.4 per cent (15,712).
Conservative Al Miles was third in the race with 11,838 votes.
The Canadian Press called a Hepfner win just after 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday when the agency reported Elections Canada expected most of the mail-in ballots across Canada to be counted by the end of the day.
Final numbers are expected to be released on Thursday.
Hepfner’s win was confirmed late Wednesday afternoon when the NDP’s Allen issued a concession.
“I want to congratulate Lisa Hepfner on winning her campaign to become the next MP in Hamilton Mountain. I wish her luck representing the hard-working people of this riding,” Allen said in an email to Global News.
“I want to thank all candidates and their teams, Elections Canada workers and volunteers for participating in our democratic process. I also want to give a special thank you to everyone on our team that worked so hard. And a big thank you to my wife and my family for always supporting me.”
Hours later, Hepfner conveyed her appreciation to Elections Canada, her fellow candidates, and voters in a social media post.
“We have a tremendous opportunity starting today to deliver on the priorities of our community and I look forward to working to represent ALL constituents, to understand your issues and be your strong, vocal representative in Ottawa,” Hepfner said.
Hepfner told Global News she believes her decades of journalism are a good prerequisite for the job ahead working for constituents.
“Knocking on doors is not new for me,” Hepfner said. “This what we do as journalists, we talk to people, we listen to them. We try to figure out if there is a solution and can we make this happen?”
The Mountain now changes political colours for the first time since 2006 when the NDP’s Chris Charlton took the riding by beating former Liberal and now 900 CHML host Bill Kelly.
Elizabeth “Beth” Phinney held the Mountain for the Liberals between 1988 to 2006.
Hepfner takes over after the NDP’s Scott Duvall announced in March he would not be seeking re-election.
Duvall beat Liberal Shaun Burt in another close race decided by just over 1,000 votes in 2015.
He would win again over Liberal candidate Bruno Uggenti in 2019.
The Liberals now have three MPs in Hamilton after the incumbent for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas Filomena Tassi was re-elected.
City councillor Chad Collins won in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek.
Tassi had a margin of some 8,600 votes over Conservative Bert Laranjo while Collins topped Conservative Ned Kuruc by just over 4,000 votes.
Hamilton’s other MP’s include Matthew Green (NDP) in Hamilton Centre and Conservative Dan Muys in Flamborough–Glanbrook.