The Kamloops civic by-election for a new mayor and two new councillors was over in about 16 minutes on Saturday evening (Sept. 30, 2017), though it wasn’t official for another 20 minutes after that.
At the end of the short evening, former City councillor Ken Christian had walked away with the mayoralty, taking 63.91 per cent of the total with 9,274 votes. Bill McQuarrie, who had campaigned on changing the culture of 2.5-per-cent annual budget hikes, was a distant second with 18.34 per cent, with 2,661 votes.
The new councillors are Kathy Sinclair and Ray Dhaliwal. Sinclair collected 3,421 votes for 12.29 per cent, with Dhaliwal second with 3,292 votes for 11.83 per cent.
If there was a surprise, it was that long-time former MLA and BC Liberal cabinet minister Kevin Krueger finished out of the running. He was third behind Dhaliwal, getting 3,042 votes or 10.93 per cent.
Another well-known Kamloops politician, school trustee Gerald Watson, was fourth, followed by Bill Sarai and Leslie Lax.
Former City councilor Nancy Bepple was eighth.
The percentages and rankings barely changed from the time the first three polls reported at 8:16 p.m. By a few minutes after 8:30, through the speed of electronic voting, all 14 polls had reported in and it was all over, officially.
Turnout was just over 21 per cent, higher than many had expected but lower than the usual 30 per cent or so that vote in a general civic election.
The winners will serve until the next general civic election in October 2018.