Saanich mayoral candidate Dean Murdock explodes into excitement after winning a race that what nothing short of suspenseful. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)

Saanich mayoral candidate Dean Murdock explodes into excitement after winning a race that what nothing short of suspenseful. (Austin Westphal/News Staff)

Dean Murdock edges out Fred Haynes for Saanich mayor

Colin Plant tops the vote for councillor, one of six incumbents to be re-elected

Dean Murdock has won a nail-biter in the race for Saanich mayor.

Preliminary results show Dean Murdock with 13,631 votes, narrowly edging out incumbent Fred Haynes who finished with 13,479.

As the race came right down to the wire late Saturday (Oct. 15) night, Murdock said he felt confident his campaign’s efforts would pay off.

“We knew this was going to be close,” Murdock told Black Press Media. “We knew it was going to mean knocking on every door.”

Although it will be his first term serving as mayor, the former three-time Saanich councillor is no stranger to municipal elections.

“I think the message we carried into this election was what we were hearing on the doorstep – that people wanted to see action,” Murdock told Black Press Media. “They were tired of hearing talk. They see a lot of great plans, but not a lot of action. They were looking for a mayor that could bring council together to move forward to start delivering results. And I think that we’re the recipients of victory tonight because Saanich is ready to start moving forward – to create affordable homes for families, to create safer streets for people to get around and I think, importantly, getting better prepared for the impacts of climate change.”

Incumbent Colin Plant tops the polls for councillor with 16,324 votes, followed by fellow incumbents Susan Brice at 15,355, Zac de Vries with 14,274 and Judy Brownoff at 11,845, newcomer Mena Westhaver with 11,459, incumbent Nathalie Chambers at 10,633, incumbent Karen Harper with 10,436 and newcomer Teale Phelps Bondaroff at 9,218.

The other candidates included Trevor Barry (7,332), Kathleen Burton (6,688), Bianca Chu (4,494), Sasha Izard (4,959), Basil Langevin (8,418), Mark Leiren-Young (5,091), Vernon Lord (3,822), Jordan MacDougall (6,838), Gregory Matte (6,160), Leslie Miller-Brooks (2,288), Mark Neufeld (6,710), Art Pollard (3,329), Jordan Reichert (6,400) and Rishi Sharma (9,207).

Looking ahead, Murdock said his next priority is to meet with councillors to discuss not only how tangible action will take shape, but how council can work together to move forward on the municipality’s most pressing issues.

A total of 27,975 ballots were cast in Saanich for a turnout of 31.22 per cent, below the 32,538 (38 per cent) who voted in 2018.

Fred Haynes did not respond on election night.

READ MORE: 2022 Election Coverage

Copy: MUNICIPAL ELECTION 2018 RESULTS
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