Results of an official recount confirmed Gracia Kasoki Kahtawa’s election night win as borough mayor of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
“I am so happy and so grateful that I was declared today officially the mayor of Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce,” said Kasoki Kahtawa, upon hearing the news.
The judicial recount was requested by Ensemble Montréal’s Lionel Perez, a longtime city councillor who, on the night of Nov. 7, thought he’d won the race.
By the next morning, however, Perez trailed newcomer Kasoki Kahtawa of Projet Montréal by 212 votes.
Results of the recount narrowed that margin to just 161 votes, with Kasoki winning 11,964 ballots to Perez’ 11,803.
Kasoki Kahtawa admitted she can now breathe a sigh of relief after a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
“What an introduction to politics,” she said, adding she’s ready to get to work to serve the people of her borough, alongside her new colleagues.
“I’m really happy that my colleague Despina Sourias was confirmed in the district of Loyola.”
Sourias’ win as city councillor also comes after a judicial recount, with the final tally giving her 2,205 votes to 2,104 votes for Ensemble Montréal’s Gabriel Retta.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante also welcomed the news confirming her party’s wins in the borough.
Plante said she’s looking forward to a collaborative relationship with the borough after years of drama, pitting the City of Montreal against former borough mayor Sue Montgomery.
“What I want is peace. I want to give services to citizens,” Plante said.
Plante and Kasoki Kahtawa both agreed work needs to be done to increase financing to the boroughs to address specific needs.
“We want to work on funding because there’s issues of poverty, of housing and cleanliness as well and we’re quite aware of that,” Plante said.
“So we’ll work as a team.”
Kasoki Kahtawa said she wants to focus on investments for infrastructure projects, including social and affordable housing, as a way to bring money back into Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.