Megan Mitton takes Memramcook-tantramar riding in a tight race
Memramcook-tantramar voters made history Monday night when they opted to send the riding’s first Green Party candidate to the provincial legislature, although by the slightest of margins.
When the final results were tallied, Megan Mitton took the local seat by a mere 11 votes.
The inside of the Sackville Commons went from hushed silence to elated cheering when Elections New Brunswick released the final vote tally, as supporters helped Mitton celebrate her win.
For more than 30 minutes, Mitton and those around her tensely waited for the results of a final special poll to come in, with the local Green Party candidate leading by 11 votes at that point, as well.
“Wow, that was a stressful few hours,” Mitton said to rounds of applause after the lengthy wait.
Mitton said the win was largely the result of hard work put in by her and her team on the campaign trail.
“We’ve been working from dawn until dusk and driven all over the riding knocking on doors and putting up signs. I couldn’t have done this without you.”
Mitton said they committed to the campaign because they believe in a better way of doing things in the realm of politics.
“We can improve our healthcare system, make a difference in education, we can address the climate change challenges we face and think about our children.”
She added she was looking forward to working for all residents in the Memramcook-tantramar riding.
“My door will be open to every constituent in this riding no matter how they voted, what language they speak.”
Mitton earned a total of 3,148 votes in Monday night’s election, trailed closely by Liberal candidate Bernard Leblanc with 3,137 votes. Representing the PC party, Etienne Gaudet earned 1,518 votes, while NDP candidate Hélène Boudreau finished with 410 votes.
A recount takes place if a riding is won by 25 votes or less, and, with such a slim margin in Memramcook- Tantramar, LeBlanc said he isn’t ready to concede the race just yet.
He said he’ll wait for the recount but added he’s not completely surprised the race here was such a tight one; he knew the Greens were gaining ground, particularly throughout the last couple weeks of the election.
“I knew it was going to be much closer ( than the last election),” said Leblanc from the Memramcook Valley Golf Course, where he was watching the results with his supporters and members of his campaign team.
Having served as MLA for the former MemramcookLakeville- Dieppe riding for two terms before being elected as MLA for the new Memramcook-tantramar riding in 2014, Leblanc said he is proud of his accomplishments to date and had hoped to move forward with a number of other projects for the area, some of which he had been making significant headway on.
“I thought we had worked hard enough in the riding to get the seat but it doesn’t seem that is the case,” he said.
Leblanc said he feels his team ran a good campaign but “obviously people were looking for something new” and credits the Green Party candidate for her well-run campaign.
The Memramcook-tantramar PC and NDP candidates could not be reached for comment by press time.”
Memramcook-tantramar Green Party candidate Megan Mitton hugs her campaign manager Sabine Dietz after learning she was elected as the riding’s new MLA. Mitton won by a mere 11 votes.