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Watts and Surrey First slate crush challengers

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts celebrates her election win on Saturday night. - Boaz Joseph / The Leader
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts celebrates her election win on Saturday night.
— image credit: Boaz Joseph / The Leader

Mayor Dianne Watts' Surrey First team has completely swept city council as they took a huge lead at the beginning of election night and never let go.

And Surrey FIrst Education dominates the school board.

On council, Surrey First's Bruce Hayne replaced long-time incumbent Bob Bose, who trailed by almost 8,000 votes by the end of the night.

All other incumbent councillors kept their seats.

Watts took back the mayor's chair with a convincing win, sweeping up 80 per cent of the vote, trouncing Ross Buchanan by 48,000 votes.

It’s a historic result for Surrey, marking what’s believed to be the first time the city council will be governed by a single civic organization without opposition.

By the time the numbers rolled in, the party mood was high at Central City, where Watts and her team were celebrating.

It wasn't that way an hour before polls closed.

Coun. Linda Hepner said she had no idea how things were going to work out, adding it was a very hard campaign.

Couns. Mary Martin and Barinder Rasode agreed, saying the Surrey Civic Coalition campaign was particularly nasty.

Couns. Judy Villeneuve and Marvin Hunt seemed a little more sure-footed when commenting about the possible results.

At 9 p.m., Watts and her team took the stage, as complete victory was assured.

Watts thanked all the people who put their name forward for office.

And she pointed out the sweep didn’t come easy.

“We ran a clean campaign, took the high road and discussed the issues,” Watts said. “We put Surrey First. We agreed to put petty politics aside and discussed the issues.”

She said the residents of Surrey have given her group the mandate to finish work that was started six years ago.

The mayor’s race saw Watts crush her opponents. Next closest was second-place Ross Buchanan with nine per cent of the vote and Vikram Bajwa with six per cent.

"It is quite humbling when you look at the mandate people give you," Watts told reporters Saturday night.

"Obviously they want to see the city evolve and the city change. There's a lot of work to do and a lot of issues. We can't just sit back and sit on our laurels."

Coun. Bob Bose, who has been on Surrey council for 28 of the last 33 years, was in disbelief watching the night unfold.

He said he would have been quite happy to lose if it meant one of the Surrey Civic Coalition candidates got on council.

"Enormous sadness is we have these bright young candidates," Bose said. "Maybe they'll get on with their lives."

He said this will be his last foray into politics.

"I'm not going to run again," Bose said. "It makes no sense."

SCC's Gary Robinson said Surrey council has "lost its soul" with the loss of Bose.

He said he fears what this council will do without opposition.

"It's a train heading to some unkown destination without any brakes," Robinson said.

Voter turnout was 70,253, or a 25 per cent turnout, up just one percentage point from 2008.

In Delta, Mayor Lois Jackson was re-elected, defeating challengers Heather King and Krista Engelland. The new Delta council will be Ian Paton, Sylvia Bishop, Bruce McDonald,

Scott Hamilton, Robert Campbell and Jeannie Kanakos.

Read our election night live chat here: http://www.surreyleader.com/news/134155303.html

 

Surrey mayor race

 

Surrey council

 

Surrey school trustees

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