Jim Watson sailed to a third consecutive term as mayor of Ottawa, but his council will have seven new faces, including more women.
Four races were wide open, but three of the new councillors are getting to city hall by way of major upsets that left David Chernushenko, Shad Qadri and Michael Qaqish out of jobs.
Carol Anne Meehan campaigned on promises to improve transportation for her communities of Riverside South, Findlay Creek and part of Barrhaven by way of wider roads and better transit.
The former CTV anchor took 42.5 per cent of the vote to incumbent Michael Qaqish’s 38.7 per cent in Gloucester-South Nepean.
“The new faces around council … I think it’s going to be exciting,” she said.
“Yes, it will be challenging, of course, but I think I’m up to that.”
Capital ward was a close 4-way race as results came in, but incumbent David Chernushenko finally settled into third place with 23.4 per cent of the vote, ceding his seat to Shawn Menard, who took 28.1 per cent.
Christine McAllister came second with 25.2 per cent.
Menard, who’s ending his term as a school trustee, promised to immediately start looking at how to help people who are less fortunate and give them a voice at city hall.
In Stittsville, Glen Gower pulled a surprise win over Shad Qadri, who had been the area’s councillor since 2006.
It was decisive, with Gower taking 57.9 per cent of the 10,157 votes to Qadri’s 42.1 per cent.
“Getting engagement from all over the community — young and old, people who’ve lived here for years and people who are new to the community — that was really key to the win tonight,” said Gower, who works with community associations and in communications.
Open races bring fresh faces
Four seats were always going to see turnover this election, as incumbent councillors Bob Monette, Marianne Wilkinson, Mark Taylor and Jody Mitic bowed out.
Innes was a competitive race fought among three women who had worked behind the scenes at city hall, as well as a fourth candidate who spent decades in the armed forces.
Laura Dudas, a city employee in communications and long-time president of the Blackburn Community Association, came out on top in the results, with 41.4 per cent of the vote and a 1,680 vote margin over second-place Donna Leith-Gudbranson at 28.3 per cent.
In Orléans, Matt Luloff pushed through a tight, crowded field — the ballot was so long with a record 17 names it had to be printed on legal-sized paper — to fill the shoes of long-time, popular politician Monette.
The Afghan veteran and federal Liberal staffer took 23.8 per cent of the vote, which is a respectable mandate given the sheer number of candidates could have led to the vote splitting several ways.
Catherine Kitts came second with 22 per cent, followed by Rick Bédard with 18.4 per cent.
School trustee Theresa Kavanagh took Bay, a ward that was once held by her husband Alex Cullen, by a healthy 55.2 per cent.
Her closest competitor, Don Dransfield, had 17.8 per cent of the vote, after a race in which his MP wife Anita Vandenbeld came under scrutiny for sending robocalls on his behalf.
Kanata North elected Jenna Sudds, who was incumbent Wilkinson’s choice to replace her.
Sudds built up the business improvement area that includes the Kanata tech park.
Sudds’ seat was cemented with 46.7 per cent of the vote compared to Matt Muirhead’s second place finish at 32 per cent.
Sudds, Kavanagh and the others mean that the next Ottawa city council will have seven female members, up from four this past term.
As for voter turnout, 42 per cent of Ottawa residents marked their ballots, which is slightly higher than 39.9 per cent in 2014, but lower than 44 per cent in 2010.