Nanaimo Civic Election Results

Nanaimo voters opted for change on Saturday, November 15, 2008, by electing a new mayor, businessman John Ruttan, who took 46 percent of votes. Councillor Diane Brennan was second with 36 percent. Incumbent mayor Gary Korpan, who had served since 1993, went down in flames with only 16 percent. Korpan has been involved in an acrimonious lawsuit with downtown restauranteer Angela Negrin over a bumper sticker reading “Free Nanaimo from Koruption” and it seems Nanaimo citizens were turned off by Korpan's strong arm tactics. Negrin got 6,032 votes in her bid for city council while Korpan took only 3,119 votes in total. Negrin was just 132 votes short of being elected: Better luck next time, Angela.

All five council members running for reelection retained their seats: Bill Bestwick, Bill Holdom, Loyd Sherry, Larry McNabb, and Merv Unger. The three newly elected councillors are Jim Kipp, Diana Johnstone, and Fred Pattje. Johnstone is a business-lobby rightwinger while Pattje is a social democrat with an interest in urban development issues. Bill Holdom will be able to continue his work caring for our city's environment, while Jim Kipp will be the man to watch.

The nine trustees elected to the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School Board are Carol McNamee, Jamie Brennan, Donna Allen, Sharon Welch, Andrea Bonkowski, Ron Dale, Nelson Allen, Dot Neary, and David Murchie. Carol McNamee is a former teacher's union leader who ran provincially for the NDP in 2005. Jamie Brennan and Nelson Allen have also sought NDP nominations federally or provincially in recent years. The new school board will be challenged to secure additional funding for education in Nanaimo-Ladysmith from the provincial government in Victoria, and if the BC NDP can defeat the BC Liberals next May, the new team will be very well placed indeed.

It's also great to hear that Gregor Robertson has been elected Mayor of Vancouver. The winds of change are blowing across British Columbia and Gordon Campbell's days are numbered.

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