While Londoners had one of the country’s longest waits to see municipal election results, those in St. Thomas knew their mayor-elect within an hour of polls closing.
Tuesday’s election saw Joe Preston unseat incumbent mayor Heather Jackson by a margin of nearly 550 votes.
The announcement at the Roadhouse Bar and Grill on Talbot Street came via incumbent, and now-councillor elect, Jeff Kohler who told a group of supporters, “they’ve already declared Joe the mayor.”
— Andrew Graham (@andrewjwgraham) October 23, 2018
Having served Elgin-Middlesex-London as a Conservative member for parliament from 2004 to 2015, the mayor-elect is a familiar face within the Railway City.
As for why he chose now to run for mayor, Preston tells XFM News that his campaign was the culmination of nearly 30 years of community involvement.
“How do you make your city a better place? You show other people that you’re willing to do it yourself,” said Preston.
“As a business person creating jobs, as a new manufacturer creating jobs, and now as the mayor, I’m feeling very comfortable to be able to take this council and say, ‘we can be better’.”
Just north of St. Thomas, Preston will be joined by a former colleague in London’s mayor-elect Ed Holder.
Like Preston, Holder also has been in the political spotlight of the federal stage, having served London-West for seven years as its Conservative MP.
Unlike Preston, Holder’s declaration as mayor-elect wasn’t announced until about 18 hours after polls closed.
Gary Clarke (incumbent)
Jeff Kohler (incumbent)
Joan Rymal (incumbent)
Linda Stevenson (incumbent)
Mark Timlin (incumbent)