Sheryl Armstrong wins Nanaimo byelection in landslide

By NanaimoNewsNOW Staff
July 8, 2017 - 8:20pm Updated: July 8, 2017 - 9:23pm

Nanaimo's newest councillor Sheryl Armstrong, sitting at a council seat in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre after her byelection victory. Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

Final results from the 2017 byelection.Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO - The polls have closed and Sheryl Armstrong is Nanaimo's latest councillor. 

She defeated 12 other candidates and won with more than 3,600 votes. 

Armstrong was thousands of votes ahead of the pack, with runner up Sacia Burton coming in at slightly more than 850.

The retired RCMP officer, after 35 years on the job in Nanaimo and across B.C., told NanaimoNewsNOW she'll use her RCMP training as a mediator to guide her actions on council.

"On the force, I always treated everyone with respect, which can be hard to do. I'll bring that same respect (to City Council). I'm not going to get into a battle where you have to have the last word."

Despite the well-documented fracturing of Nanaimo's City Council, Armstrong said she doesn't anticpate many issues during her time as a councillor. 

If her first half-term goes well, she said she'll run again in the 2018 municipal election.

Mayor Bill McKay told Armstrong she should make sure she votes independently and does her homework, which Armstrong guaranteed she would. 

"Armstrong was strong all through the campaign, she's done her homework and she's going to bring a strong female voice to council," McKay told NanaimoNewsNOW. He said her training and history as an RCMP officer will help her in separating the issues from the personalities on council. "We're seeing too much of that in B.C. today."

Though he was pleased to have another woman on council, McKay said he hopes for a day where the nine person council is as close to gender equal as possible.

He also congratulated all other candidates who fought for one spot over recent weeks. "They all appeared to be up to the challenge, they put their thoughts out in the community and I appreciate that."

Nearly 7,400 votes were cast. 

All results are preliminary until confirmed by chief electoral officer Sheila Gurrie.

Note to readers: This story has been updated with quotes from Armstrong and McKay.

 

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