Well, it’s official, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry has shed the red and embraced the blue.
Jim McDonell secured an impressive and tremendous win for the Progressive Conservative party.
The October 6th election left the new MPP with a colossal 21,615 votes equalling 54 per cent of the vote.
While his competitors were left in the dust, it is noteworthy that NDP candidate Elaine MacDonald gave Liberal candidate Mark A. MacDonald a run for his money.
The Liberals came in second with 22 per cent of the vote (8,483 votes) with the NDP following closely with 21 per cent of the vote (8,078 votes).
The Green Party’s Justin Reist held the fourth spot with two per cent of the vote (553 votes) followed by Libertarian Darcy Neal Donnelly with one per cent of the vote (400 votes).
As if the PC’s landslide victory and the NDP’s substantial increase in vote percentages wasn’t enough in terms of noteworthy election tales, it appears that this provincial election had its lowest voter turnout in years.
More than 50 per cent of eligible voters chose not to vote in this election. Elections Ontario, on October 7th, said that “preliminary and unofficial results currently indicate that 49.02 per cent of eligible voters in the province cast their ballot.”
For those who did vote and for those interested in the outcome of the election, McDonell’s victory party took place at the Ramada Inn in Cornwall. Accompanied by wife Margie, he entered the room to the welcoming sound of the Scottish bagpipes.
Also by his side were daughters Marion and Chelsea and, unexpectedly home from Calgary was McDonell’s son Bernie there to offer his support as well.
He began his short acceptance speech saying, “it’s great to see the riding go blue!”
The bulk of his speech, however, was spent thanking the people who helped him achieve his victory: “I can’t stress the help I got from all the volunteers. (It’s) all about the volunteers and the people that came out; they make the difference.”
He went on to say that “over the four years they will hear us.”
In response to the overwhelming votes in his favour, McDonell confessed that he was “somewhat shocked” but, at the same time, he and his volunteers “heard the same thing” when they were out campaigning and talking to people: “People were upset” with the way things were being done.
He finished his short speech with a thank you and an invitation to the crowd “to have some fun.”
Since election night, McDonell has kept busy. This past weekend was spent taking a lot of the election signs down and gearing up for the excitement and challenges coming his way.
In a phone call to the Leader Tuesday morning, he admitted that it has been a “bit of a whirlwind the last few days” and that it’s been “lots of fun.”
He said that he’s expecting “orientation information in the next day or two” about the upcoming “session in Toronto.”
He wants to assure people that he will “continue on with actions of government locally.”
In fact, he attended a South Stormont council meeting Tuesday night where he officially handed in his resignation as mayor.
When asked if there was anything he’d like to share with the people of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, McDonell replied: “Thanks to all the people who came out and helped.”
He vowed to “be there for all the residents of this riding” because “that’s really our job.”