Gord Fuller won a spot on Nanaimo city council during Saturday's municipal election.

Gord Fuller won a spot on Nanaimo city council during Saturday's municipal election.

Five new councillors elected in Nanaimo

NANAIMO – New faces at council table say they're ready to get to work.

City councillor Bill McKay is the new mayor of Nanaimo.

McKay won the mayoral seat Saturday with 30 per cent of the vote, defeating runners up Bill Holdom and Roger McKinnon, unofficial election results show.

He also unseats two-term mayor John Ruttan, who came fourth in the vote count.

Joining McKay will be three incumbents, including top vote getter Bill Bestwick, Jim Kipp and Diane Brennan, who eked out a 100-vote win over Fred Pattje. Also at the council table will be Bill Yoachim, Wendy Pratt, Jerry Hong, Ian Thorpe and Gord Fuller.

“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.”

McKay, a first-term city councillor prior to becoming mayor-elect, won 6,400 votes – surging ahead of second-place finisher Holdom, who had 4,265 votes and McKinnon with 3,381. Ruttan came in fourth with 3,212 votes.

McKay said he was stunned his messaging resonated with as many people as it did, and wants to now become the “most approachable mayor Nanaimo has ever seen.”

Ruttan, who was at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre Saturday 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.”

Fifth time was the charm for city watcher Gord Fuller, who will be taking a seat at the council table for the first time. He called his win surreal and said he believes more and more people have recognized he’s the real deal.

“I actually walk the walk and I am out there and I’m doing things and have been,” he said. “I think they see that I have been able to make change over the years not being on council and they see that as a reason for me to be on council.”

Wendy Pratt, the executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society, said she’s retiring from the organization which has been her heart and soul for 15 years and she sees council as a continuation of service to the community.

“I know it’s going to be a big learning curve and I’m just ready to do the work,” she said.

“I’ve got the skills, I’ve got the time, I’ve got the commitment, the energy, I’ve got all of that.”

According to the City of Nanaimo, this election saw voter turnout reach 34.7 per cent, compared to 26.9 per cent in 2011.

Results are still considered preliminary and will be confirmed Wednesday (Nov.19) when the count is finalized.

For a full list of the election results, please visit the city’s website at www.nanaimo.ca.

For more on McKay’s priorities as mayor, please see page 3.

Just Posted

Potters Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter present their joint exhibit ‘Dig It’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of June. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Potters show pieces for home and garden at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter’s show ‘Dig It’ on display until end of June

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read