Massive voter turnout in Upper Island Cove
Longtime mayor George Adams survives challenge for top post; three females elected for first time
Residents of Upper Island Cove flocked to the polls in large numbers on Tuesday in what many are calling the most exciting municipal election to take place in the town in many years.
And when the final tallies were released, more than three hours after the polls closed at 8 p.m., it revealed a new-look council, including three females.
“We were very pleased with the turnout,” said returning officer Neil Shute.
Some 1,021 residents cast ballots, accounting for an impressive 77 per cent of eligible voters. That’s up from 60 per cent in 2009.
Voters were drawn to the polls by a hotly contested mayor’s race, and a separate ballot for council that included 10 solid candidates.
Observers were predicting that longtime mayor George Adams would be in tough against councillor Craig Mercer for the top elected post, but in the end Adams cruised to victory by a margin of 222 votes.
Adams said he was humbled by the outpouring of support and looks forward to directing another four years of growth and improvement in the town.
As for his convincing victory, he attributed it to what he believes is a strong level of satisfaction with his leadership, and a dedicated group of campaign volunteers.
“They worked diligently to ensure the message got out and to get supporters to polls,” he said.
Adams is 67 years-of-age, and hinted this would likely be his last campaign for elected office, though he emphasized, “right now I want to focus on the present.”
A female presence
The gender breakdown was another notable outcome of election. For the first time, council will include three females, including incumbent Evelyn Adams (no relation to the mayor), who garnered the most votes of any candidate. She will be joined by newcomer Cindy Dobbin and incumbent Kim Mercer.
Upper Island Cove was incorporated in 1965, but did not elect its first female until 1981 when Ada Mugford earned a council seat.
In the elections that followed, there would generally be one female on council, though in 2009 the town elected two females.
The trend is a positive one, said Adams.
“To have three males and and three female councillors is a marvelous opportunity in running any council,” said Mayor Adams.
“I think we have the makings of a fine incoming council.”
Adams commended Craig Mercer for what he called a hard-fought and clean campaign, and also congratulated the winning candidates.
The newly elected council will be sworn in during its first meeting on Monday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Council will select a deputy mayor at that time.
Meanwhile, the following is a breakdown of the results in Upper Island Cove:
• Mayor — * George Adams (incumbent mayor), 620; * Craig Mercer (incumbent councillor), 398;
• Councillors — * Evelyn Adams (752), Steven Greeley (603), Cindy Dobbin (597), Darren Mercer (473), Philip Lundrigan (470) and * Kim Mercer (449);
• Unsuccessful candidates — * Valentine Slaney (432), John Lynch (419), * Walter Linthorne (377) and Daniel Coombs (356).
• Note — * denotes incumbent candidate
George Adams has been re-elected as mayor of Upper Island Cove.