First person to be reelected mayor since amalgamation, but Brian Bigger’s share of the vote drops by 18 percent
By Darren MacDonald, sudbury.com
Sometimes nice guys do finish first, Mayor Brian Bigger said Tuesday night, moments after results from Greater Sudbury’s interrupted election were announced.
Bigger becomes the first mayor in Greater Sudbury to be re-elected, even if his share of the vote dropped to 28.2 per cent, compared to the 46.32 per cent he received in 2014.
But he benefited from strong showing by his three closest competitors – second place finisher Patricia Mills, Dan Melanson and Cody Cacciotti – who between them garnered more than 50 per cent of the vote, but none receiving enough votes to knock off the incumbent.
Still relatively new to politics – he was the city’s auditor general until 2014 – Bigger was able to get enough support on council to end unpopular policies such as the councillor slush funds, as well as get approval for projects such as the Maley Drive extension and the Kingsway Entertainment District.
The latter project dominated the campaign, with only Bigger and Melanson in support among the main hopefuls running for mayor. The KED, as it is called, is being appealed to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal, with a first conference scheduled for Nov. 6.
It was a largely negative campaign, with his 10 opponents taking aim at him and his record at every debate and much of the campaign literature they released. Bigger said his win was a sign that Sudburians reject that type of politics.
“To me what it what it means is that the people of Sudbury do believe that being nice is not a sign of weakness,” Bigger said, with his wife, Lori, standing by his side. “That bullying is never OK.”
Social media comments were particularly nasty this campaign, and Bigger praised his opponents for being willing to enter what has become a very tough field.
“I’m truly grateful for anyone who is willing to to enter the election races to make our city greater,” he said. “Patricia, Dan, Cody, you know, they all ran strong campaigns. But you know, I’m very happy with the result.”
It was a smaller crowd gathered at the Ambassador Hotel than Monday, when Bigger had much of his family present. But the glitch that delayed the vote meant they had to leave before he was reelected Tuesday.
After problems with the vote emerged, Bigger blasted city staff for the fiasco, and vowed to hold someone responsible. When asked whether he should shoulder responsibility as mayor – he was the crucial vote when the decision to go online only was made last year by a vote of 7-6 – he said council makes decisions collectively
“There was a there was an observation out there that people are making about the tiebreaker,” he said. “I can assure you that I always vote on every vote that occurs. And so it may have happened that the vote was 7-6, however, that’s how the democratic process works in municipal politics.
“I’ve already met with staff and and we’re investigating at this point in time and trying to find out exactly what caused the the problems with the Dominion Voting and … we’re trying to make sure that this will never happen again. I can assure you that this will be a significant topic discussed by the new council.”
Second-place finisher Patricia Mills struck a conciliatory tone, congratulating Bigger for winning a second term.
“People voted for the future they wanted for Greater Sudbury,” she said. “It may not be what we want, but most of the people voted for what they want.”
But Mills said she didn’t consider that she lost Tuesday night, saying that her campaign, which she considers to have been the best in Greater Sudbury municipal election, accomplished a lot.
“We shed an important light on the need for the wise use of our money, brought attention to our vibrant neighbourhoods, and the need to invest in all of our town centres,” she said.
Mills s emphasized the need for unity after such a divisive campaign.
You were either pro or anti KED,” she said. “You were either pro big spending or fiscal prudence. You were either pro or anti downtown.
“It’s time for us to end the divide. We do need to come together and unite our city. There are so many challenges ahead, and what the city needs now is support and co-operation. We need to mend our wounds.”
On city council, no incumbent was defeated Tuesday, with some scoring huge victories. Ward 10 Coun. Fern Cormier received almost 75 per cent support, and Ward 12 Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann and Ward 9 Coun. Deb McIntosh received more than 60 per cent.
In the two vacant wards, musician Geoff McCausland won Ward 4 with 38.18 per cent of the vote, 10 per cent more than Don Roy, while in Ward 11, Bill Leduc cruised to an easy victory, taking 48.6 per cent of the vote to beat former councillor Terry Kett by more than 2,000 votes. McCausland opposes the KED, while Leduc is in favour.
Unofficial results from Tuesday’s election for mayor:
Brian Bigger: 14,684 (28.32 per cent of vote)
Patricia Mills: 9,746 (18.8 per cent of vote)
Dan Melanson: 8,673 (16.73 per cent of the vote)
Cody Cacciotti: 8,066 (15.56 per cent of the vote)
Troy Crowder: 4,279 (8.25 per cent of the vote)
Jeff Huska: 2,746 (5.30 per cent of the vote)
Bill Crumplin: 2,158 (4.16 per cent of the vote)
Bill Sanders: 792 (1.53 per cent of the vote)
Ron Leclair: 534 (1.03 per cent of the vote)
Rodney Newton: 102 (0.2 per cent of the vote)
David Popescu : 72 (0.14 per cent of the vote)
2018 Municipal and School Board Election Official Results
The official 2018 Municipal and School Board Election results are now available. The final results were tabulated following the close of Electronic Voting Locations and the online voting system on Tuesday, October 23 and have been certified by the City Clerk.
Ward 1: Mark Signoretti
Ward 2: Michael Vagnini
Ward 3: Germain “Gerry” Montpellier
Ward 4: Geoff McCausland
Ward 5: Robert Kirwan
Ward 6: René Lapierre
Ward 7: Mike Jakubo
Ward 8: Al Sizer
Ward 9: Deb McIntosh
Ward 10: Fern Cormier
Ward 11: Bill Leduc
Ward 12 : Joscelyne Landry-Altmann
School Board Trustee
Rainbow District School Board
Area 1: Kerrie St. Jean
Area 2: Anita Gibson
Area 3: Judy Kosmerly
Area 4: Dena Morrison
Area 5: Doreen Dewar
Area 6: Judy Hunda
Sudbury Catholic District School Board
Zone 1: Estelle Scappatura
Zone 2: Raymond Desjardins
Zone 3: Michael Bellmore
Zone 4: Nancy Deni
Zone 5: Alex Cimino
Zone 6: Jody Cameron
Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l’Ontario
Région 7: Lynn Despatie
Région 8: Robert Boileau
Région 9: Julie Olivier
Région 10: Jean-Marc Aubin
Région 11: Francine Vaillancourt
Région 12: François Boudreau
Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario
Zone 4: Claude Berthiaume, Marcel Montpellier
Zone 5: André Bidal, Josée Bisson, Marc Larochelle
Zone 6: Louise Essiembre, Marcel Legault
Official results are also available at greatersudbury.ca/elections.