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Wiese dominates Division 3 byelection

Jim Wiese has been elected the new Westlock County councillor in Division 3. Wiese won the June 25 vote with 134 votes, or 68 per cent of the 197 votes cast.
Jim Wiese is Westlock County’s new Division 3 councillor following his win in Monday night’s byelection.
Jim Wiese is Westlock County’s new Division 3 councillor following his win in Monday night’s byelection.

Jim Wiese has been elected the new Westlock County councillor in Division 3.

Wiese won the June 25 vote with 134 votes, or 68 per cent of the 197 votes cast.

'I'd say my message of restraint was what people want to hear, that there needs to be some changes and we need to be more efficient," he said after learning of the results.

Wiese said he figures his message resonated with people if he was able to come away with the election win in such convincing fashion.

'I guess if you get 60 per cent of the vote, it's probably a mandate for what my positions were," he said.

Wiese's closest runner-up was Herb Smerychynski, who took 40 votes, or 20.3 per cent. Cal Busby came in third with 23 votes, representing 11.7 per cent of the votes cast.

Having two other people to run against is something Wiese said he appreciates, because in the past he's seen a fair amount of apathy when it comes to county elections. He also added that he respects his opponents for putting themselves out there.

'You have to congratulate the other two people for running as well because it's never easy running," he said. 'If you want a democratic process, you have to applaud the people who are willing to run."

The only part of the whole election that surprised Wiese was that only 197 people cast a ballot. He had expected closer to 350 ballots cast, but he figured the lower-than-expected turnout had to do with it being a byelection during the summer.

Still, he's happy with the result and knows exactly what his next step will be.

'What I will do is I will take the mandate that I ran on and I'll take that to council," he said. 'I'll see if I'm successful with some of the things I want to have changed."

Wiese takes over from current Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Maureen Kubinec, who originally won the seat in October 2010. She vacated the council seat following her win in the provincial election earlier this spring.





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