Year in review: Election surprise

Anti-mansion candidates prevailed, while anti-SOGI hopefuls failed

It wasn’t quite the seismic city council shift caused by the Terra Nova furor of the 1990s, but the 2018 municipal election heralded a significant changing of the guard, nonetheless.

Out went veteran incumbents Derek Dang and Ken Johnston and in came the fresh faces of Steveston resident Kelly Greene and school teacher Michael Wolfe.

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Dang lost out for the eighth and final seat on council by less than 100 votes, while Johnston’s re-elected bid faded into 12th position.

Many local political pundits saw the flip as voters showing their contempt for the development of the city, in particular the proliferation of so-called “mega-mansions” on Richmond farmland, which Greene and Wolfe had vigorously campaigned against.

For Wolfe, it was his 10th attempt at being elected. He previously took four shots at city council, one at mayor, one at trustee previously ran many times for MP and MLA with the Green Party.

Malcolm Brodie, once again, cruised to victory in the so-called “race” for mayor, brushing aside his nearest challenger, Roy Sakata, with consummate ease and a more than 22,000-vote margin.

A high-profile pretender to his crown, local lawyer Hong Guo, could only scrape a meagre 2,940 votes.

Although a little more low profile, the race for school trustee was interesting in that almost all candidates who ran with anti-SOGI slates, or advocated against the school district’s SOGI policy, failed in their election bids.

Indeed, most of the candidates who were pro-SOGI won their seats on the school board with a resounding number of votes.

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