September 08, 2013 - 12:12 PM
BYELECTION TURNOUT LOW
PENTICTON - Did you vote for the new mayor? Probably not as only 14 per cent of Penticton's 25,632 eligible voters cast a ballot in Penticton's byelection.
Regardless Garry Litke can scratch getting the mayorship off his to-do list. The new mayor was elected in a landslide victory Saturday night. His tally of 2,779 beat out Vic Powell's 701 and Brian Henningson's 222. Litke says he is "relieved" and "anxious to get to work."
The byelection also recalled former councillor Katie Robinson back to her old seat. When Litke resigned from council to run for mayor he left his seat open. Robinson won with 1,500 votes. Andre Martin came in 2nd with 1,160. After Martin comes Lynn Kelsey with 399, Pat Buchanan with 357 and Kevin Andrews with 275.
Litke was congratulated by Coun. John Vassilaki and others at the polling station at the Penticton Seniors Drop-In Centre. The centre was open all day with the doors closing at 8 p.m. Those inside waited for the vote count to be completed and for the results to be displayed. Okanagan-Coquihalla MP Dan Albas attended the centre but had to wait outside the polling station, along with other residents, until the count was over.
With the byelection over, Litke still has other items on his to-do list. The Penticton Regional Hospital expansion is right at the top. He plans on getting on that right away and will advocate for it every chance he gets.
Litke's wife, Kendra Litke was not concerned about her husband having more responsibilities. She says that'll be his job and his family is proud.
"He's so passionate about it," daughter Teigan Litke explains.
Henningson, who placed a distant 2nd in the mayoral race, says he's not surprised with the results. He calls himself the underdog pointing out he learned a lot and was advised to run again for a councillor position.
Mayor-elect Litke and councillor-elect Robinson will be sworn into office at the annual convention for the Union of BC Municipalities in Vancouver later this month.
The newly elected politicians will join Wes Hopkin, Andrew Jakubeit, Judy Sentes, Helena Konanz and John Vassilaki around the Penticton city council table.
To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 250-488-3065, tweet @shannonquesnel1 or @InfoNewsPentict
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