A hush fell over the crowd around 8:15 p.m. when the first set of results came in, a sharp contrast to the burst of celebration when the final numbers were announced.
Although the first batch of ballots showed Debbie Bath-Hadden ahead of incumbent mayor John Grant by only six votes, that number grew to almost 130 by the time the evening came to a close.
Bath let out a joyous cry as the final results were posted.
“I had a fabulous reception from residents as I was going door-to-door campaigning. Voters wanted to have a conversation about the issues and it was great to take the time to talk to people,” she said.
“They weren’t necessarily bashing the Township — many presented constructive ideas. It was nice to see so many people engaged. And that’s why we run for office. To represent the people.”
She’ll will be the first female to hold the position once she’s sworn-in to office in early December.
In a social media post, Grant offered the following message in defeat.
“Congratulations to Debbie Bath-Hadden on election as the next mayor of Brock Township. Congratulations to all the candidates that ran. For those who are successful, all the best during the next term of council,” he said.
Regional Councillor Ted Smith and Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell were the only incumbents to win re-election and both will serve their second consecutive term.
Smith said he expected a tight race heading into the night but he staked out an early lead that continued to grow with each update to the results.
He said experience — which also includes two terms as Ward 5 Councillor — may have played a role in his election win.
“It was a tough campaign,” he noted.
“But none of the other candidates had ever been on council. Experience should count for something. It looks like it did.”
On her win, Campbell said that she is looking forward to representing the constituents of Ward 5 for another term.
“I try to be their voice. People appreciate that.”
Mike Jubb defeated Gord Lodwick for the Ward 1 seat while Claire Doble captured Ward 2, a role previously filled by Cyndi Schaffer. Political newcomer Cria Pettingill captured the Ward 4 seat over Chris Shier and Ralph Maleus.
Incoming mayor Bath-Hadden shared her excitement about the fresh faces joining Council.
“When you look at who’s running, that excites me. Mike Jubb, Claire Doble, they’re the next generation,” she said.
“Right now, there’s no one from that generation at the table.”
Doble, a newcomer to the council chambers, was quick to acknowledge the voters and previous governments for their efforts, as well as those who made her campaign a success.
“While canvassing I met and spoke with many voters who are interested and involved in making Brock Township an even greater place to live. Issues that arose include speeding traffic, improvements to infrastructure and roads and improving the tax base of the community. I’m so grateful for so much love and support throughout this election. A special thanks goes out to my husband for being my biggest supporter and campaign manager,” she said.
“Congratulations to all candidates who ran in this election and a special thanks those who have previously served on council and brought us to where we are today.”
After holding the seat from 2010 to 2014, Walter Schummer is back as the representative in Ward 3, beating out Bill Basztyk by more than 400 votes.
His key to campaign success was quite simple.
“Getting out and talking to voters. Raising issues and talking to people about them,” he said.
Not surprisingly, the biggest issues during the campaign were taxes along with roads and infrastructure, Schummer noted.
Pettingill said that the same issues were raised as she canvassed residents in Ward 4, which she said played a major role in her election success.
“It was all about building personal connections through conversations at the door.”
A total of 4,687 ballots were cast, representing 46.7 per cent of eligible voters, according to the Township.
Due to a later voting deadline in Pickering, results from the Durham Regional Chair position only started to trickle in shortly after 10 p.m.
Oshawa Mayor John Henry captured roughly 55 per cent of the vote to win the seat, followed by Tom Dingwall and John Mutton.
Carolyn Morton won the English Public School Board Trustee position for Brock, Uxbridge and Scugog, while Kathy Leforte took the English Separate School Board Trustee position for the area.