Blaine Hyggen was elected the mayor of Lethbridge by a slim margin on Monday.
He received 11,973 votes, winning 42.79 per cent of the vote.
Hyggen said it was stressful watching the results roll in, but he was excited overall.
“I’m kind of at a loss for words, to be very honest,” he said. “It’s super exciting.”
Hyggen said he is a mayor for all.
“Those that didn’t vote for me, those that voted for me, keep me to task. Challenge me,” he said.
It was a tight race: Bridget Mearns came in second with 11,465 votes, meaning 40.97 per cent of ballots cast.
Mearns, a former councillor, is disappointed with the results.
“I would have liked to have seen the reverse or even a larger lead on my behalf, but they are what they are,” she said.
“What I was presenting and what I was offering was an entirely different leadership approach. It was a community approach. It was a collaborative approach, so we’ll see what this new council can bring. We’ll see the leadership that Blaine can bring.”
Hyggen is a two-term councillor who was elected in 2013.
His message to incoming councillors is about working together.
“If there’s been any bad blood in the past, let’s wipe the slate clean. Let’s better this community, and let’s do it all together,” he said.
Hyggen’s first order of business is to sit down with his new council to get some direction from them.
“What do they want? Because collectively, as a council, we need to look at that,” he said.
Read more: Decision Lethbridge 2021: Municipal election an opportunity for a more diverse city council
Other candidates in Lethbridge’s mayoral race included: Sheldon Joseph Day Chief, Gary Klassen, Stephen Mogdan and Kolton (The Maniac) Menzak.
Mayor Chris Spearman did not seek a third term.
Lethbridge has elected eight councillors:
- Rajko Dodic
- Belinda Crowson
- Jenn Schmidt-Rempel
- Ryan Parker
- John Middleton-Hope
- Mark Campbell
- Jeff Carlson
- Nick Paladino
Rajko Dodic, a former Lethbridge mayor, came in first in the race for council.
“Where I come in is not as important to me, as I’m just very happy and pleased that the citizens of Lethbridge had faith in me to elect me as a councillor.”
There were 81,276 eligible voters, according to the City of Lethbridge.