For the first time in 12 years Cape Breton will have new leadership — Cecil Clarke is the next mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
Clarke took an early lead on election night, and held close to 59 per cent of the vote. In total, he received 27,732 votes.
"I feel very humbled, but also honoured to be the next mayor of CBRM. I want to work with the new councillors and discuss those plans on how we can built a stronger, better CBRM and get things back on track and take our combined passion, energy and drive and make sure this municipality is leading Atlantic Canada," he told CBC News.
The 44-year-old politician was a Progressive Conservative MLA and served as Attorney General, Justice Minister, Energy Minister and Speaker of the Legislature before he resigned his Cape Breton North seat to run federally.
It was mainly a two-man race between Clarke and Rankin MacSween.
Clarke will replace long-time mayor John Morgan, who in August said he would not reoffer in the municipal election.
As an MLA, Clarke was frequently on the opposite side of issues from Morgan, especially it came to the matter of equalization funding.
Following his acceptance speech Clarke said he wants to work with province's other mayors and wardens to create a "true Nova Scotia approach, pan Nova Scotia approach."
While Clarke campaigned on the promise of renewal, some things won't change now that he can add mayor to his title.
"I'm getting up tomorrow and going to church, going to the legion breakfast as I do every Sunday, and reconnecting with my community, being out on the street," he said.
The municipal election polls are officially closed and the results are in in Cape Breton. Here is the list of councillors for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
District 1 – Clarence Prince
District 2 – Charlie Keagan
District 3 – Mae Rowe
District 4 – Claire Dethridge
District 5 – Eldon MacDonald
District 6 – Ray Paruch
District 7 – Ivan Doncaster
District 8 – Kevin Saccary
District 9 – George MacDonald (acclaimed)
District 10 – Darren Bruckschwaiger
District 11 – Lowell Cormier (acclaimed)
District 12 – Jim MacLeod