True Grits in Cape Bre­ton

Wil­ton wins in Cape Bre­ton Cen­tre


“Pol­i­tics is a hard game and three can­di­dates put their best foot for­ward and I was the lucky one this time.”

Dave Wil­ton

The sec­ond time was the charm for Lib­eral Dave Wil­ton.

The 47-year-old New Water­ford busi­ness­man won the right to rep­re­sent the rid­ing of Cape Bre­ton Cen­tre, gar­ner­ing 49 per cent of the vote in a by­elec­tion Tues­day night. His vic­tory comes two years af­ter he came a close sec­ond to in­cum­bent Frank Cor­bett in the 2013 elec­tion.

This time around — in the race to re­place Cor­bett, who re­signed ear­lier this year — Wil­ton came out on top with 3,060 votes, com­pared to 2,538 for NDP’s Tammy Martin and 644 for Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive can­di­date Edna Lee. Af­ter los­ing by 158 votes in 2013, his mar­gin of vic­tory Tues­day stood at 522 votes.

“It feels re­ally good,” Wil­ton told re­porters mo­ments af­ter en­ter­ing his vic­tory party at the New Water­ford le­gion. “Pol­i­tics is a hard game and three can­di­dates put their best foot for­ward and I was the lucky one this time.”

Wil­ton also thanked ev­ery­one who con­trib­uted to his cam­paign.

“My fam­ily and all of my sup­port­ers, they stuck by me from the last elec­tion and they just grew from the last elec­tion be­ing so close,” he said. “With­out their sup­port you just can’t win some­thing like this.”

Wil­ton said he’s ea­ger to get Hal­i­fax and be­gin work­ing for his con­stituents. When asked about his pri­or­i­ties as he heads to the pro­vin­cial leg­is­la­ture, Wil­ton iden­ti­fied two key is­sues.

“Health care is a big is­sue for us here in Cape Bre­ton Cen­tre, and jobs ... that’s my fo­cal point, be­ing a busi­ness­man, that’s what I want to do, I want to grow the econ­omy here,” he said. “I want to grow the com­mu­nity as much as I can.”

Wil­ton also pledged to sup­port and as­sist his con­stituents in what­ever is­sues are of con­cern to them.

Just up the street, Martin, a first- time can­di­date, was meet­ing with her sup­port­ers af­ter the fi­nal re­sults came in for the rid­ing.

“I’m dis­ap­pointed, of course, that we didn’t win, but I’m so proud of my team, and my first time run­ning I think we’ve done an amaz­ing job,” she said. “We went out know­ing that we did ev­ery­thing we could and the vot­ers made their de­ci­sion and that’s fine and we’re sat­is­fied with that.”

Martin be­lieves she’s built a great foun­da­tion for the next elec­tion and plans to run again.

“When the next gen­eral elec­tion is called my name will be on the NDP bal­lot,” she said.

Run­ning for the sec­ond time for the PC party, Lee said she’s proud to be part of leader Jamie Bail­lie’s team. She said she en­joyed run­ning in this cam­paign and hav­ing the chance to meet with peo­ple through­out the rid­ing once again.

“It’s up to the peo­ple, and of course I re­spect what they de­cide,” she said, ex­press­ing her con­grat­u­la­tions to Wil­ton on his win.

Voter turnout in Cape Bre­ton Cen­tre was 47 per cent, with a to­tal of 6,242 bal­lots cast.

Cape Bre­ton Cen­tre in­cludes the town of New Water­ford, as well as Re­serve Mines and a part of the town of Do­min­ion.

In 2012, when pro­vin­cial elec­toral bound­aries were re­drawn, the rid­ing ex­panded south­west to­ward Syd­ney to in­clude South Bar, Lin­gan Road and part of Grand Lake Road ar­eas from the for­mer Cape Bre­ton Nova.

Up un­til Tues­day night, Cor­bett, a for­mer deputy premier, had held the rid­ing for the NDP since 1998.


Lib­eral Dave Wil­ton was all smiles Tues­day as he made his way into the New Water­ford le­gion to greet his fam­ily, friends and sup­port­ers, in­clud­ing his sis­ter Cathy Wil­ton. Wil­ton won by 522 votes over NDP can­di­date Tammy Martin.


Dorothy Mac­Don­ald had the job of post­ing poll re­sults at the elec­tion night head­quar­ters of Lib­eral Dave Wil­ton on Tues­day evening.

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