Start of movement for unelected candidates

Zachary Gibb watching the updated polls of the Lethbridge City Council election with his sister Brooklynn Knight and nephew Max.
Aileen Burke admitting defeat from the long race of the 2017 Lethbridge municipal election.

Aileen Burke admitting defeat in the long race of the 2017 Lethbridge Municipal Election.

As the last of the ballots were cast in for the municipal election, three candidates learned they will not be serving on the new City Council.

Candidates Zachary Gibb, Aileen Burke and Stephnie Watson came together to watch the polls roll in and share their unsuccessful fate together.

Gibb is a new face to the campaign trail who has become humbled and proud to know that he has built a broad base to start his future rally of supporters.

“You know, call me crazy, but I am very pleased. Over three-thousand people casted a ballot for me and put their faith in me and that is just great,” said Gibb.

Preparing for the next term election, Gibb is continuing to build up his force and broaden his connections within the city to try and prove himself for the 2021 election.

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“I am still willing to go and do campaigning for the next four years and join as many boards and committees to increase the great base that I had and to make Lethbridge a better place from a smaller roll than council,” said Gibb

Name recognition is always a factor to who gets elected in to parliament, but was a common theme to hear in the room for the frustrated and exhausted trio.

“I wish all of the elected candidates all the best, but I am quite surprised at the result as in how much name recognition could help a person, whether they have an understanding of the job or not,” said Gibb

Aileen Burke broke down emotionally as the results came in as it was almost evident half way through that she would not be serving during this term.  Disappointed in the results, Burke still believes it was a good campaign and wishes the best of luck to the new members of council.

“Thank you for a race well fought, congratulations to Mark Campbell and Belinda Crowson. We will be watching. You have big shoes to fill and I am excited to see what you all do for the next four years,” said Burke.

Not knowing where her life will be in four years, Burke sticks with the concerns she brought to the election trail of helping improve the homeless population and building a more inclusive community.

“The issues that I ran on are the issues that I am super involved within the community and that work hasn’t stopped. It won’t stop and it will continue to go until I get elected or move away from the city,” chuckled Burke.

With only 27 per cent of the city making an effort to participate in the election, Stephnie Watson sees more concern in the voter turnout than her own results.

“I am not surprised; let’s put it that way. It just shows that we have a lot of work to do in the city with informing voters and getting them to turn out,” said Watson.

Ignoring the results of the election, Watson highlighted the time she spent with the other candidates and is thankful that everyone was able to remain civilized and wants to what was best for the city.

“It has been one of the most pleasant campaigns around, which is great to see that all of us could agree on similar ideas. Not everyone agreed to everything, but we all acted in a civil manner as politics should be,” said Watson.

A room full of supportive family, friends and community members comforted the disappointed candidates and reminded them that their voices and concerns can still be heard around the city.

Gibb is keeping a close eye on the new council to make sure that the voices and concerns of the city are heard and will continue to push for the projects he believes in.

Burke and Watson are unsure of their future in the political system, but will continue to support the causes they brought up in the election and push for council to consider them.

With the 2017 municipal election drawn to an end, there is a new seating arrangement for whom Lethbridge believes will support its ideas. Holding them accountable for future actions are the candidates who didn’t make it through, for their passion for the city is unconditional and personal.

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