Dan Curtis sits safe in Whitehorse mayor’s seat

Dan Curtis was re-elected as mayor of Whitehorse last night in a landslide victory. The unofficial election results put him more than 3,800 votes ahead of second-place candidate Wilf Carter.

Dan Curtis was re-elected as mayor of Whitehorse last night in a landslide victory.

The unofficial election results put him more than 3,800 votes ahead of second-place candidate Wilf Carter.

“It’s pretty surreal, to be honest,” Curtis told reporters at Whitehorse City Hall shortly after winning.

But despite winning by a large margin – he received almost 80 per cent of the mayoral vote – he said it wasn’t an easy campaign.

Accusations of being responsible for another person’s death were levelled at him during a mayoral forum last week.

He said he received a lot of phone calls and e-mails supporting his decision not to respond to those.

“And that’s good because I do have a bit of a temper, but I was able to keep my cool,” he said.

“I’m privileged to have the opportunity to work for the citizens of Whitehorse for three more years.”

Mayoral candidate Wilf Carter received 835 votes, or just over 14 per cent, while Mandeep Sidhu came in third place with 437 votes or 7.4 per cent.

Dave Stockdale, who was seeking a 12th consecutive term on city council, lost his seat by only 46 votes.

“I’m not thrilled, but I’m not that disappointed,” he said.

“You can’t win everything. I can finally reorganize the files in my basement now.”

Stockdale joked he would scare the Yukon Party by reminding them of the territorial election to be held next year.

If he did decide to run, he’d do it for the NDP in the Riverdale North district, he added. “But that’s highly unlikely.”

He did confirm he wouldn’t run in the 2018 municipal election.

Incumbent Jocelyn Curteanu was the most popular councillor among the six voted in, receiving 2,662 votes. She said she was surprised by the result.

“I was told to hope for the best and expect the worst,” she said with a laugh.

“I just trusted the citizens to make a good decision as to who they feel will best meet their needs. I’m honoured they feel so strongly that I can carry out the work they want the city to do.”

Robert Fendrick, the former director of corporate services for the city, finished second with 2,556 votes.

Curtis was asked whether he anticipated any challenges, as Fendrick had been fired by the city manager earlier this year. “He’s a consummate professional and council always got along really well with him,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll be a concern at all.”

Betty Irwin was elected for a third consecutive term on council with 2,457 votes.

Roslyn Woodcock, who lost a recount to Mike Gladish in the last election, came in fourth with 2,156 votes.

Former councillor Dan Boyd, who served for two consecutive terms between 1994 and 2000, finished fifth with 2,078 votes.

Samson Hartland narrowly beat out Stockdale for the last seat, with 1,959 votes.

The pair had been sitting together in the front row of the council chambers leading up the final results, following the numbers projected onto the big screen.

Hartland, who served on council from 2000 to 2003, said he was excited to work with the new team.

“It’s very promising as you have returning experience, continuity from the previous council and new blood,” he said. “What more could you ask for?”

The city used electronic voting for the first time this year. Despite a few glitches after the polls closed – the election website didn’t work – the final results came in at 9:18 p.m., by far a new record.

In comparison, it took over three hours to recount the votes cast for Gladish and Woodcock in the 2012 election.

Returning officer Norma Felker said this year’s electors list had over 18,000 names, compared to just over 11,000 in 2012.

She expected the voter turnout to be significantly higher as a result, but didn’t have the final numbers on hand.

A meeting has been scheduled for Monday, Oct. 26, in order to swear in the new council.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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