City councillor Bill McKay is the new mayor of Nanaimo.
Preliminary election results show McKay has won the mayoral seat with 6,400 votes, defeating runners up Bill Holdom and Roger McKinnon. He also unseats two-term mayor John Ruttan, who came fourth in the vote count.
Joining McKay at the council table are Bill Bestwick (incumbent), Bill Yoachim, Wendy Pratt, Jim Kipp (incumbent), Jerry Hong, Ian Thorpe, Gord Fuller and Diane Brennan (incumbent).
“I’m just absolutely over the moon right now and I have to say, somewhat humbled as well,” said McKay shortly after the win. “The fact that this community and thousands and thousands of people would go out and put their confidence in me and the team they’ve assembled for me, I think that’s absolutely fantastic news.”
Ruttan, who was at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre Saturday night as the results came in, said he was disappointed but wishes McKay every success.
“The vote was very much in favour of Bill McKay and … I think he worked very hard in the campaign, there is no doubt about that,” he said. “I wish him well.”
The results are still considered preliminary and will be confirmed Wednesday (Nov. 19) when the count is finalized.
This year’s election had voter turnout of 33 per cent, compared to 26.9 per cent in 2011.
MORE ELECTION NEWS: For Nanaimo school district trustee results, please click here.
For a round up of what people were saying on social media, check out our Storify.