And then there was one.
While there were 27 mayoral candidates, it all came down to Jyoti Gondek and Jeromy Farkas but it wasn’t as tight of a race as expected as Gondek was declared the winner before 9 p.m. by CTV, followed by Global shortly after that.
Gondek took an early lead and ran with it to become the city’s 37th mayor and first female mayor in Calgarys history.
As of press time, Gondek had 45% of the votes while Farkas had 30%. Jeff Davison was in third with 13%.
“This looks like a vote against Jeromy Farkas as much as it is for Gondek,” Political scientist Duane Bratt said during the Global Calgary election live stream.
He credits Gondek for a strong campaign but said Farkas had trouble building momentum in the later stages of the campaign, with many undecided voters turning to Gondek for mayor.
Bratt called it “the night of the female politician” as several female councillors were also voted in, including Sonya Sharp in Ward 1, Jennifer Wyness in Ward 2, Jasmine Mian in Ward 3, and Kourtney Branagan in Ward 11.
He says it’s a “much bigger transformation” for city council from a gender perspective than expected, and he also considers it a message to premier Jason Kenney.
“There were three Calgary candidates closely associated with the Kenney government. Farkas lost. Magliocca lost. Chu is losing. DST referendum is losing. Equalization referendum is leading, but with only 58%. This was a big message that Calgarians sent to the Kenney govt,” Bratt tweeted.
Gondek thanked voters for their support in her victory speech just after 10 p.m.
“My heart is full at the thought of how much love and support I have received,” she said.
“Thank you for embracing a vision of promise and opportunity. This election is about all of you and the many things that you believe we can accomplish together.”
Farkas graciously conceded to Gondek just after 9 p.m. in a speech, thanking her and congratulating her.
“Thank you Jyoti for your tremendous service, and your incredible vision of tremendous potential that you put forward for our city,” he said, adding she earned the trust of Calgarians to lead the city.
He encouraged her to unite not only those who voted for her but those who didn’t, too.
“And I hope that you lead by example.”
Notably, Ward 13 councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart lost her bid for re-election to Dan McLean while Ward 2 councillor Joe Magliocca lost to Wyness. Magliocca is embroiled in controversy over his expenses from when he was a councillor.
Ward 9 councillor Gian Carlo-Carra had a close battle with Naomi Withers though he won.
Ward 4 councillor Sean Chu had a tight race with DJ Kelly, though that race hasn’t been called as of press time. Chu is under fire for some newly released information about some charges stemming from when he was a police officer.
Top mayoral candidate results as of 10 p.m. by percentage
Jan Damery – 2%
Jeff Davison – 13%
Jeromy Farkas – 30%
Brad Field – 5%
Jyoti Gondek – 45%
Grace Yan – 1%
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