Like the rest of Ontario, the big blue wave rolled into the riding of Chatham-Kent–Leamington on election night.
It had PC newcomer Trevor Jones beaming as he cinched the win handily earning 47.6 per cent of the vote.
“So grateful,” was the Leamington resident’s reaction to becoming the new Member of Provincial Parliament.
“I’m feeling so thankful for Chatham-Kent–Leamington’s voters…for our team, our family, our communities.
“I feel our communities are going to be well taken care of,” Jones said. “I’m going to work very hard for every constituent right across our big, beautiful riding and apply all of my experience.”
Jones said his experience as a former OPP officer and senior director for Mastronardi Produce will serve him well in the new role.
The atmosphere was loud and boisterous at Tru’s Grill House as Jones celebrated with his family and a large crowd of supporters following the results.
Jones said his team stayed focused on the goal, reaching every corner of the riding.
“Our team was everywhere,” Jones said, from Highgate to Pelee Island. “We had a very positive and very disciplined campaign. Our team didn’t worry about anything else except where we were working that day.
“We stayed focused on the goal, the result of which is tonight.”
When asked why he didn’t attend an all-candidates meeting held in Chatham, Jones said no one told him to go, or not go to a debate, adding his team decided what the “best opportunity” for success was.
“Our best opportunity for success was meeting with the people of Chatham-Kent,” he added.
When asked if he was going to toe the party line, Jones said he is accountable to constituents.
“I’m accountable to the voters who sent me to Queen’s Park. My voice for Chatham-Kent–Leamington will stay true. Obviously we have to respect our team, respect our captain and respect the greater good for the benefit of the entire province.”
Jones said there’s been an outpouring of love from supporters and he feels Chatham-Kent–Leamington has “adopted me as their son and their messenger.”
Mayor Darrin Canniff, who attended Jones’ victory party, said it’s an exciting time for Chatham-Kent.
“It’s a great thing to be linked to the government that is in power,” Canniff said. “The region is booming and there’s a lot to look forward to.”
Downtown at Turn’s & Tales, NDP candidate Brock McGregor was thoughtful about his second-place finish.
“We did our best to get out and listen to people,” McGregor said, adding, “the messages around accountability and affordability were well received by a lot of voters.
“We know this is an extremely difficult riding. We’re proud of the team we put together and we’re proud of the campaign.”
McGregor, who will return to his role as a Chatham councillor, said his first shot into provincial politics was a great experience.
He said he wishes Jones all the best and is looking forward to working with him to improve things for the people of Chatham-Kent–Leamington.
The June 2 election saw the lowest voter turnout in history with only 43.5 per cent of Ontario’s eligible voters turning out at the polls.
In Chatham-Kent–Leamington the number was even lower. Of the 86,443 citizens able to cast a ballot only 42.23 per cent, or 36,505 people, showed up.
In Lambton-Kent–Middlesex, 89,766 voters were eligible to vote, and 40,224 their way to the ballot box out.
Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice