For the second time, Waye Mason has defeated Sue Uteck.
The incumbent councillor won another term in office, claiming the District 7 race Saturday night over Uteck and political rookie Dominick Desjardins.
“It's a real vindication of the changes we brought to council and to the government in HRM in the last four years to get almost two-thirds of the district voting,” councillor Waye Mason said of his decisive re-election win.
The returning incumbent beat his opponents with over 60 percent of the (unofficial) vote. This is a big change from back in 2012, when Mason beat Uteck (former area councillor of 12 years) by a mere two percent vote margin.
“I was out there for five months, I gave it my all and I respect the decision,” said Uteck over the phone. “I've got a full-time job that I'll return to and we'll just go from there. I'll still be involved in the city whether it's on a board or a committee.”
Mason’s term in office earned him wide popularity, and a respect for his energetic approach to politics, but also his critics. Both Uteck and Desjardins campaigned claiming he didn’t push the Centre Plan fast enough, and put small businesses and heritage properties at risk. Mason says downtown construction is the most obvious concern of the district, one which HRM will have to attend to further during the next four years. The councillor says he's ready for the challenge, and takes this election as an official thumbs-up from area residents.
“There will be no break,” said Mason. “The most important thing is land use by-law change on the peninsula...That's what we heard over and over again at the doors, is concern about development.”
Unofficial voter turnout in District 7 was just 30.6 percent, with 4,811 total votes cast. Finalized results will be released by HRM on Tuesday.
With files from Adina Bresge.