Oshawa’s municipal election has come to an end but incumbent Mayor John Henry sees this as a fresh start.
Henry was re-elected as Mayor of Oshawa with 14,084 votes, nearly 50 per cent of all votes cast. In second place was John Gray, with 8,229 votes.
Gray, who was elected as mayor of Oshawa in 2003 before eventually losing to Henry, said he didn’t expect Henry to win tonight, while the incumbent was confident of a victory but not necessarily almost 6,000 more votes.
“I truly thought it was going to be a neck and neck race. We all find out on election night and this one was a surprise,” Gray said. “The whole message of vision and looking to the future fell on deaf ears and perhaps my message wasn’t as clear as I thought it was or they just weren’t in any kind of mood to have a more visionary type approach to leadership and looking forward to the future.”
Henry referred to his win as exciting, an oft-used word in his vocabulary on election night.
“It was exciting to be out in the community every day door knocking and meeting people. We reached somewhere close to 25,000 doors and walked somewhere close to 650 kilometres through the city,” Henry said.
Henry had the opportunity to learn more about the city as he met residents of new subdivisions that weren’t yet built when he was first elected four years ago.
“I’ve enjoyed this campaign,” he said. “I have an amazing team. It’s not my win, it’s our win. It’s their win and it’s their right to celebrate their win,” Henry said at their celebration party at Avanti Trattoria in downtown Oshawa.
Henry spoke of all of the “exciting” things happening in Oshawa’s future.
“We have a great healthcare system and you know what, we make a lot of great cars,” he said. “The Pan Am games are here next year, the Deaf Games are here in 2016 and in the meantime you’re going to see tower cranes and construction everywhere in the city and that just shows that we are alive and open for business.”
Henry said that Oshawa welcomes students to this community. The city has worked very hard to create a vibrant downtown where people can come for dinner and drinks, see a concert, show or hockey game, noting Oshawa has art galleries and museums as well.
As a result of Henry’s re-election, Gray said he will need to be more proactive and send council some letters.
“There has been zero goal-setting in the last four years,” Gray said about Henry’s time in office. “Although I am on the outside I will try to point them in the right direction.”
Gray recalled a time last spring when there were budget deliberations at City Hall. He said he urged them to take the threat of GM potentially leaving the city seriously.
“We do know that the mayor finally woke up,” he said. “He acknowledged it in the last week so maybe we did make some progress, it’s just not too obvious just yet.”
Although business is as usual at City Hall Tuesday, both candidates will be removing their signs and shutting down campaign offices.
[…] Bonaparte, The Chronicle, published on the web on October 27, […]
Oshawa’s ‘alive and open for business’: Mayor Henry