by Ashley Janes
Morinville – Lisa Holmes was unofficially elected to be Mayor of Morinville Monday night. However, before Holmes can officially become town mayor, election staff must conduct a recount. Roughly two and a half hours after the polls closed, the numbers revealed that Holmes had received just eighteen votes more than opposing candidate Sheldon Fingler, whose agent immediately requested that a recount be done. The following are interviews with Lisa Holmes and Sheldon Fingler regarding the election results and the upcoming recount:
Holmes Q: You’ve unofficially won the election by 18 votes. How do you feel about such close results?
A: You know we had incredibly good candidates running in this election and a lot of them, so it’s not surprising that it was as close as it was. It matters today and once the results are official, you know, it won’t matter anymore. Because at that point the person who’s elected will be the mayor of Morinville and will represent everyone, so I’m looking forward to having that chance.
Holmes Q: What sort of experience have you gained coming out of this campaign that you feel will help you in your upcoming term?
A: It’s been amazing. It’s been long. I declared back in June so I feel like it’s been long months of campaigning. But what it’s shown me is the community that we have and how amazing that we are. People have stepped up to help me in so many ways, ways that I will never be able to repay. And just the strength of the families we have, kids were involved in my campaign – that was wonderful.
Holmes Q: Assuming the recount results are in your favour, you’ve worked hard to get this result. But the real challenge is before you. What is going to be your first priority stepping into office?
A: The first priority is going to be budget. So what we’re going to have to do with a fairly new council is work on orientation and getting them up to speed on where we’ve been for the last three years and more. I’m looking at us having an interim budget because I think we’re going to need the time for the new council to become acquainted with the process.
Holmes Q: Is there anything more you would like to say regarding tonight’s results?
A: I’m excited. I’m very humbled. I’m excited for the opportunity and I’m hopeful that this result stays.
Fingler Q: By the first count, you have lost the election by 18 votes. How do you feel about the closeness of these results?
A: I feel fantastic to have received the support I did. A close race means that the community clearly believed in both of us.
Fingler Q: Will you comment on the decision to request a recount?
A: I did not make the call myself and wasn’t there in person so I couldn’t say much.
Fingler Q: If the results come out the same, will you have any regrets regarding your campaign?
A: I am so proud of my team and my family for all they’ve done. I am proud of how we ran and all we did.
Note: Third place candidate Carrie Foss received 294 votes in Monday’s race. Christa Naughton, a fourth contender, withdrew midway through the campaign, citing health matters. Her name remained on the ballot and she received 12 votes. Results are expected to be made official by Friday.