Scott Gillingham will be Winnipeg’s next mayor after tight race

Scott Gillingham will be Winnipeg’s next mayor after a tight race.

With all voting locations reporting results, Gillingham received 27.54 per cent of the vote while former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray got 25.29 per cent.

Voting results earlier Wednesday evening initially showed Murray pulling ahead of his competitor, which the candidate referenced in a concession speech.

“For a few minutes there, we knew what it felt like to win. And it was exciting. It was exciting because we’ve worked so hard,” Murray told supporters just after 10 p.m.

Votes are also pouring in in Winnipeg’s 13 city council races, where CBC’s decision desk is projecting 10 incumbents will be re-elected.

Incumbents projected to win are Janice Lukes in Waverley West, Jason Schreyer in Elmwood-East Kildonan, Matt Allard in St. Boniface, Brian Mayes in St. Vital, Sherri Rollins in Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry, Jeff Browaty in North Kildonan, John Orlikow in River Heights-Fort Garry, Ross Eadie in Mynarski, Cindy Gilroy in Daniel McIntyre and Vivian Santos in Point Douglas.

CBC is also projecting Shawn Dobson will be elected in St. James, Evan Duncan will be elected in Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood and Russ Wyatt will be elected in Transcona.

Rivals congratulate Gillingham

CBC’s decision desk has not yet projected who will be elected as Winnipeg’s next mayor, but two mayoral hopefuls congratulated Gillingham in their concession speeches Wednesday evening.

“It looks like councillor Gillingham will now be mayor Gillingham, and I want to give him my full support,” mayoral rival and former Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood Coun. Kevin Klein told supporters in a speech just after 9 p.m.

Social entrepreneur Shaun Loney also offered Gillingham his support.

“I also wanted to congratulate what appears to be mayor Gillingham. He and I had some issues on the campaign, disagreements about policy. I want to offer him my full support,” Loney told his supporters.

“It’s time to pull together now as Winnipeggers and I am fully prepared to do that and want to wish him the best in his new role and hope he hits the ground running.”

Political scientist Chris Adams said any candidate winning Winnipeg’s mayoral race with under 30 per cent of the popular vote would be a surprise.

“We’ve never seen that historically in Winnipeg,” Adams, an adjunct professor in political studies at the University of Manitoba, said on CBC’s live election results show.

“This would be historic, that [we see] somebody winning less than 30 per cent — whether it’s Gillingham or possibly Murray.”

First new mayor since 2014

The city is choosing its first new leader since 2014, when incumbent two-term Mayor Brian Bowman was first elected. Bowman announced in 2020 he would not run again.

After a long campaign period with a crowded pool of candidates vying for the spot, one is about to come out on top.

The first candidate to step up for the top seat came six months after Bowman’s announcement. In the past six months, 10 more registered.

The other candidates are Idris Adelakun, Rana Bokhari, Chris Clacio, Kevin Klein, Shaun Loney, Jenny Motkaluk, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Rick Shone and Don Woodstock.

Now that polls are closed, vote counting has begun. Ballots cast in advance will be counted first, followed by votes cast today, said senior election official and city clerk Marc Lemoine.

Full results should be in by around 9:45 p.m., Lemoine said.

Two city council incumbents were also guaranteed to keep their seats: Couns. Devi Sharma in Old Kildonan and Markus Chambers in St. Norbert-Seine River were both acclaimed after no one ran against them.

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