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Stew Young loses, Langford Now sweeps election

Lillian Szpak only incumbent elected as Langford votes in six new faces

In an unexpected twist that will send shock waves throughout Greater Victoria, political newcomer Scott Goodmanson has beaten long-serving Langford Mayor Stew Young in the 2022 municipal election.

Goodmanson won with 53.1 per cent of the vote, getting 4,483 votes to Young’s 3,796.

As results came in Saturday (Oct. 15) night, Goodmanson celebrated with family around a propane fire at his home near Langford Lake before joining the Langford Now candidates at City Centre Grille.

“I was on the phone and looking at the TV and I just couldn’t believe it. Everyone here jumped and started cheering and I thought ‘holy cow this is happening,’” said Goodmanson.

Goodmanson will be joined on council by Langford Now slate members Kimberley Guiry (4,255 votes), Colby Harder (5,072), Mark Morley (4,048), Mary Wagner (4,844) and Keith Yacucha (4,579).

The roof nearly came off the City Centre Grille as the five Langford Now candidates realized they’d all been elected to council. The consensus was surprise and excitement among the candidates.

“It was more than I think we dared to hope, it’s the perfect combination with the whole team,” said Wagner.

Lillian Szpak (3,512), who ran as an independent, was the only incumbent to keep her seat. Szpak said she looks forward to working with the new councillors and acting as a mentor for them.

With the loss, Young leaves office after 29 years as mayor.

“He was one of the authors of the change of the community,” said Szpak. “I think the result tonight – what you see is a result of having lost touch with that change. I think that’s why we have such an upset in Langford.”

Young’s Community First slate saw none of its members elected. Incumbents Norma Stewart (2,583), Lanny Seaton (2,547), Matt Sahlstrom (2,481), and Roger Wade (2,309) all missed out. Fellow Community First slate members Shirley Ackland (2,540) and Shannon Russell Willing (2,430) also missed out.

Langford Now formed as a new electoral organization this year, largely in opposition to the entrenched nature of this past city council – the previous council had over a century of cumulative experience in office and its push to encourage development.

Long-serving city councillor Denise Blackwell, who was running as an independent, also lost her seat, getting 2,379 votes. Blackwell like Young has been on council since Langford was incorporated.

Independent candidate Wendy Hobbs missed out on council, garnering 2,592 votes, the most of the unelected candidates.

Stew Young was not available for comment on election night.

READ MORE: West Shore voters hit the polls to choose next councils, school board trustees

READ MORE: 2022 election coverage


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