It will be four more years for Randy Hope as Chatham-Kent’s top elected official.
“I feel relief,” Hope told the Sydenham Current. “Today has been a little nerve racking for me, as every election has always been for me. I feel relief knowing that the numbers are in and knowing that we have the third mandate.”
Hope gathered 9,242 votes, for a total of 28.55% of the vote.
He was 1,358 votes ahead of second place finisher, former Chatham Coun. Marjorie Crew.
“Like in 2010 when I went against Tom McGregor, Marjorie is very diplomatic, very respectful about what was going on and had been a part of council,” Hope said. “We had to lay the agenda out, what has been going on for eight years and what needs to go for the next four years. We have a little different leadership style. I have a lot of respect for Marjorie, she is going to be missed on council.”
Hope said he faced other challenges during this years campaign.
“This time around we’ve been introduced to new social media,” he said. “A lot of comments can be made, which are not always founded on fact. It was quite a different campaign than I was accustomed to, but we got through it and now it is about moving forward.”
Hope said he is looking forward to working with a new council, as sic new Councillors will be around the horse shoe.
“It’s about getting them up to speed and it is about moving forward,” Hope said. “There is not a lot of time for honey moons and it is about making stuff happen. The agenda has been set, it’s about getting a buy-in, making some minor adjustments to it and starting to move forward.”
Hope said he will continue working on a number of initiatives already under way.
“The most important thing to people is jobs and investment to mitigate tax implications,” he said. “That is the strategy, we’ll keep working on that. It’s about carrying on with the things we’ve been doing with economic development, with the opportunities that exist.”
Hope has stated in the past that he would seek at least three terms as mayor in Chatham-Kent, but would not confirm that this would be his last.
“Like I said to the others… ask me at the end of year three,” Hope said.