Incumbent Roger Anderson was elected in the first ever direct election for Durham Region’s Regional Chair. After holding the position for the past 17 years via a vote of council, Anderson prevailed through his first fight for regional chair.
Many politicians and residents of Durham are not shocked by Anderson’s win. Out of the six candidates running for Regional Chair, Anderson was the only candidate with any political experience.
Anderson’s opposing candidates came from varying backgrounds. For example, Michael Deegan is a denturist and Arthur Augustine is the owner of Arthur’s Hair Design in Ajax, one of Durham’s longest-running salons.
“Unfortunately, none of the candidates have any municipal experience and, with all due respect, regional chair is not an entry-level job,” said Anderson in a media report.
Presumptions proved to be correct with Anderson winning by a landslide. Anderson finished with 46.7 per cent of the overall votes with the next closest candidate being l Deegan, who got 14.77 per cent of votes.
The regional chair position is voted in by more people than those voting for the premier or prime minister. Anderson will be serving an area that is covered now by 6 MPs and 6 MPPs.
There has been talk whether Anderson will hold more power now that he has been directly-elected. The regional chair position has been described as a ‘supermayor’, with Anderson covering the entirety of Durham Region.
“I’m a big supporter of Durham College and UOIT. I’ve raised a lot of money for bursaries for students,” said Anderson.
Anderson has been a major advocate for Durham College and UOIT and continues to be. This past summer the Roger Anderson Charity Classic golf tournament raised $320,000, exceeding the $5-million mark in the 17-years the tournament has been held.
Although Anderson has the most experience and tenure, he wasn’t overconfident entering Monday’s municipal vote.
“You’re always nervous just before an election, but I was very pleased with the numbers that came in tonight,” said Anderson.
Anderson will be going into his 18th year as Durham Region’s Regional Chairman.