Mike McGuire nabbed the deputy mayor position in a close race with incumbent Brad Richards, whom he lost to in another close election in 2018.
What was the difference this time?
“Response to the election was vastly different. They were very much more engaged. Their use of social media to divulge information was just so significant this time, and last time it was non-existent,” said McGuire.
“They were really developing my campaign as we went along. What I thought may have been the issues originally grew by listening to the citizens.”
Asking residents to let him know what the problems were so he could solve them was literally on his detailed campaign sings that may have required some squinting at the smaller type.
“You’ve got a thousand people on your Facebook site, I want to talk to you. So we were able to get information that was not forthcoming from council or the municipality because a lot of it was on there on the web, you just had to look for it. So you start taking public documents and comparing that against people’s political statements, against their debating rhetoric, and all of a sudden you’re able to start challenging them about their positions,” said McGuire.
He wanted to avoid making the election about the CAO as many on social media wanted to, and rather focus on his competitor and other politicians.
“He did make a public statement during the election that I had commented upon. That was an interview he had done with MyFM, so I did make a response not to him. I made a public response… which was getting lots of traction indicating I thought it was inappropriate and why I thought it was inappropriate,” said McGuire, adding it was the only time he mentioned the public employee.
He now knows everyone who will be on council. He has also met incoming mayor Colin Grantham on how council will function under their leadership for the next four years. McGuire hopes to be on top of all the issues by helping the new mayor keep a finger on the pulse of everything happening.
“He will use me in the deputy role however he so chooses, and I am here to serve at that capacity for him,” said McGuire, adding he can serve as a check on power along with the rest of council, too.
“I laughed at him one time, I said I’m going to be your conscience, the checks and balances in the background. But I want to be his support.”
“But when the decision of nine is made, it will always be the better decision,” concluded McGuire.
The participation rate for the election in Strathroy-Caradoc mirrored the disappointing turnout of Ontario as a whole, only reaching 38.8 percent. That was at least higher than 2018’s 37.8 percent turnout.
Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner