Naheed Nenshi has been re-elected as mayor for a second term in a landslide victory. As of 11:30pm (MDT), the incumbent had 73.7 per cent of the popular vote; finishing a very distant second was Jon Lord with 21.3 per cent support.
"The secret of our success in this community is very simple. We’ve learned a basic truth that evades so many in this broken world," Nenshi said during his victory speech.
"We’re all in it together. Our neighbour’s pain is our pain, our neighbour’s success is our success."
For Nenshi, a primary issue during the campaign became his desire to increase population density in the downtown core versus a well-funded home builder lobby profiting handsomely from building suburban homes.
Nenshi won that battle in the mayoralty race and, as of press time, it looked as if the pro-density Nenshi-friendly councillors — except for Gael MacLeod in Ward 4 — were poised to be re-elected as well.
While Nenshi's victory is impressive, it's not the first time Calgarians have given their second term mayors big support at the voting booth.
In 1983, incumbent mayor Ralph Klein received 80.3 per cent of the popular vote; in 1992, Al Duerr received 90.4 per cent support; and in 2004, Dave Bronconnier earned the suport of 81.5 per cent of eligible voters.
Meanwhile, in Edmonton, 34 year old Don Iveson becomes that city's new mayor.
The former city councillor captured 60.2 per cent of the vote. The Canadian Press describes him as someone who "captured the imaginations of many voters with Kennedy-esque pleas for Edmonton to lead on an innovation agenda."
Mount Royal University political analyst David Taras told the Globe and Mail that Nenshi, Iveson and Premier Alison Redford make up a new progressive Albertan dream-team of sorts.
Redford, Mr. Iveson and Mr. Nenshi, "represent the social change that has taken place in Alberta.” The province is now more urban, diverse and wealthy – with more political clout – compared with just two decades ago, he said.
The winners of the municipal elections in Alberta will be the first ones to get four-year terms of office; prior to this year, municipal terms were three years in length.
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