Landslide win for Dowdall in Essa
By Brad Pritchard Alliston Herald Oct 28, 2010
ESSA -Essa Township residents made it clear they are ready for a new mayor Monday night.
Outgoing deputy mayor Terry Dowdall had no problem ousting the controversial incumbent mayor David Guergis. Dowdall received over twice the support with 3,063 votes, while Guergis received 1,481.
On Wednesday, two days after election night, messages of congratulations kept on pouring in at the Baxter General Store, which is owned and operated by Dowdall.
“The phone won’t stop ringing, emails keep coming. It’s hard to get back to everyone but were doing it one at a time,” Dowdall said.
“So far I’ve been getting lots of congratulations and everyone seems to be looking forward to a pretty positive term coming up,” he added.
Dowdall spent election night with his family, friends and supporters at the Baxter Hall awaiting the results. He said he didn’t expect the final numbers to favour him so heavily.
“I was pleasantly surprised that they were that high,” he said. “You never really know I guess. You just gotta hit every door right to the end and I guess people wanted change in the township. I was shocked, overwhelmed, honoured. All of the above.”
Dowdall said the difference in the campaign styles played a key role. During the run up to the election, Guergis had made phone calls to constituents, criticizing Dowdall’s role on the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA). At the candidates debate in Angus, Guergis also kept this tone. Dowdall however refrained from adopting this tactic.
“I think a lot of the public wanted a positive campaign,” he said. “From most of the people that called me over the comments (made by Guergis), most of them said the same thing: Keep your eye on the prize, keep your head up. Knock on doors and get to know people and be yourself. And that’s what I did.”
The former councillor in Ward 1, Sandie Macdonald is also moving up the municipal ranks. She easily won the deputy mayor’s job with 3,082 votes, compared to the 1,440 votes for Shawn Bubel.
Keith White, president of the Angus and Area Chamber of Commerce, came out on top of a long list of candidates to take Ward 1. White had 1,015 votes, while Archie Duckworth trailed next in line with 880. Bryan Millerson had 209 votes, David Barnes had 57 votes, John Butcher received 21 and Jon Vink had 13.
Political newcomer Michael Smith defeated incumbent Rick Newlove to take Ward 2. It was close, but Smith’s 569 votes surpassed Newlove’s 529. Ken Cooke brought up the rear with 136 votes.
Ward 3 once again went to incumbent Ron Henderson, who has 14 years of municipal experience under his belt. He had 813 votes, E. Lee Redmayne had 298 votes.