Election Night Ride

I just hadn't given it a whole lot of thought. As Election Day wound down and the regular Monday work day came to an end, even then I wasn't trying to imagine what watching the results come in would be like. I had no sense as to the ride I was about the enjoy.

Our guests started arriving after 7 pm and by 7:50 pm, most everyone was there. As the clocked ticked away to the top of the hour there was a noticeable pit in the bottom of my stomach, a lump that didn't know if it wanted to be a good lump or a bad lump.

Renee and Summer arrived, as did Cindy, Norm and Sheila. Kelly was there, one of my oldest friends and a great supporter of the campaign. Sana came, as did Brad, Mark and Stephanie. Mike sat next to the TV, loving the excitement, while my mom, dad and Heather circled the room making sure everyone had enough to eat and drink. Claude came in a little later to bask in the anticipatory tension.

When the first results popped up on Channel 10, Mayor Melissa had a 4 to 1 lead on John and the room erupted. Then they show the Ward 1 race graph, with me in 6th spot and in the race for a seat on Council. The room erupted a second time.

At this point I sent a text message to my candidate colleague and friend Don Scott who I found out was parked at election central seeing the results in the real time. So, he started feeding us the numbers as to what my lead was over my nearest compatriot Christine Burton. At first it was a rather small number, perhaps 70 (my memory is a little foggy in this regard). Then it stretched out into the hundred then two hundred range. By the time the last polls were closed and the unofficial numbers had been announced, I was 336 votes up and Councillor-Elect for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

I was thrilled beyond measure as you might expect, but inside I was truly torn; I had wanted Christine to be at the table. She certainly had my vote.

It's 48 hours later and I don't know if the news has really sunk in yet? The past couple of days have been a blur with hundreds of congratulatory messages (THANK YOU for every single one of those!) and lots of work.

I called my 11 year old son Dylan as soon as was reasonable the morning after the results, to share with him the news. We connected at the stroke of 9, just as he was wheeling himself off to school at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.

"What happened," he asked excitedly. "How did it turn out?"

"Noboby has told you?" I asked.

"No, I haven't heard a thing."

"I won," I said. "It was very very close, but I won!"

"Oh Papa, that is so great! I'm so happy for you."

"I dedicate this win to you Son," I said. "I know you wanted to be here."

"Ah, thanks Papa."

There was a pause as I heard him smile and catch his breath.

"I'd like to talk longer," he finally said, "but I'm already late for class."

He hung up. I smiled.

We did it, and this was now real.

October 21, 2010 - 198 pounds, 30.8% body fat


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