Hope re-elected mayor; some councillors defeated

Randy hope hugs his wife, Diane, in celebration of being re-elected mayor of Chatham-Kent Monday.
Randy hope hugs his wife, Diane, in celebration of being re-elected mayor of Chatham-Kent Monday.

Mayor Randy Hope will get the opportunity to complete his 12-year vision for Chatham-Kent as he earned a third term in Monday’s municipal election, defeating six opponents.

Hope outpaced councillor Marjorie Crew and five other candidates with a total of 9242 votes, 1,358 ahead of Crew.

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Finishing behind Crew were Steve Brent with 5,603 votes, followed by Ian McLarty with 4,451, Jeff Bultje with 4,298, Reno Lachapelle with 558 and John Willatt with 339.

Hope and Crew were the only candidates to have had previous municipal council experience prior to seeking the mayor’s seat this time around.

Hope, visibly fatigued by 9 p.m., called this campaign “interesting.

“This is one of the first with social media,” he said, admitting he’s not sure if that was for positive or negative. “And we had very little in terms of debates. Today has been stressful.”

He said some elements of the campaign, especially on social media, got “vicious.”

Hope described Crew as a good candidate that some may have underestimated her, something he said he never did.

He said the focus for the next four years is employment.

“Jobs are the key. We’ve got to put people back to work,” Hope said. “And foreign investment is key to our success in lowering the jobless rate and decreasing tax assessment on individuals.”

Crew spent the evening at her home in Chatham’s east side, surrounded by friends and family.

“That’s the way we do things,” she said of the friendly gathering. “I won anyway. Look at the people I’m surrounded with.”

Crew offered some advice to Hope for the coming four years.

“You have to be a collaborative person,” she said, stressing the need for the mayor to work with council as a whole.

Voter turnout was 42.1%, 2.2 per cent higher than 2010. In all, 32,783 of 77,855 voters cast ballots.

Hope took an early lead and never looked back, opening an 800-vote margin within the first 45 minutes and cruising to the win.

Hope had defeated Tom McGregor in 2010 by 2,220 votes and Diane Gagner by 2,554 in 2006.

It was his lowest vote total in three elections, having collected 13,171 in 2006 and 11,578 in 2010.

In Ward 6, Chatham, newcomer Darrin Canniff topped the polls with 7,000 votes, followed by incumbents Michael Bondy with 6,821, Doug Sulman with 5,779, Derek Robertson with 5,063, Bob Myers with 4,677 and newcomer Brock McGregor with 4,385.

In Ward 1, West Kent, Bryon Fluker was returned with 1,545 votes, while newcomer Mark Authier took the second seat with 1,291, replacing Brian King who didn’t seek re-election.

In Ward 2, South Kent, first timer Trevor Thompson topped the polls with 3,373 votes while veterans Frank Vercouteren with 2,800, and Karen Herman with 2,352 were next. Two-time incumbent Art Stirling was fourth at 2061.

In Ward 3, East Kent, incumbent Steve Pinsonneault led with 2,035 votes. David VanDamme in his first attempt knocked off incumbent Jim Brown, 1,762 to 1,634.

In Ward 4, North Kent, incumbents Leon Leclair with 2,668 and Joe Faas with 2,631 won easily.

Jeff Wesley topped the polls in Ward 5, Wallaceburg, with 2,383, while first-time candidate Carmen McGregor defeated incumbent Sheldon Parsons, 1,578 to 1,290.

In the English separate Ward 6 race, incumbent Anita Labadie lapped the field, garnering 2,190 to 490 over Mike Genge.

In the English public Ward 6 race, Ruth Ann Dodman retained her seat with 5,399, while Shannon Sasseville defeated incumbent Dave Macko for the second spot, 2,944 to 2,689.

All other separate and public board positions were acclaimed.


Marjorie Crew and husband Greg were all smiles despite Crew's second-place showing in the battle for mayor.
Marjorie Crew and husband Greg were all smiles despite Crew’s second-place showing in the battle for mayor.



  1. There is only one word to describe last nights election for both turn out and the result. PATHETIC!! Only 42% of the electorate bothered to show up. That means almost 6 out of 10 didn’t. What a different city and municipality we COULD have is just a few more people would take just a bit more interest in the process instead of using the excuse ” I don’t know who to vote for so what’s the point of me voting” I hear it all the time. To be honest, only 1 candidate showed up on my door to talk to me………… he got my vote. Unfortunately due to the sheer number of candidates splitting the vote, he wasn’t elected, just off the pace. Apart from just 2 new councilors in ward 6, it’s the same old same old, so I guess we’re in for another 4 years of total mismanagement and wasting of our money on trips to China and the like that will produce NOTHING of any consequence. Europe should have been the place to look for investment especially as Canada now has a trade agreement with the EC.
    I’ve lived in Chatham for 41 years and seen it go from a vibrant city to a bedroom community with practically no good jobs and companies to sustain us left. No wonder our taxes are the highest in Ontario. Chatham has been mismanaged for decades. I lost count of the number of major companies that passed us by because the Mayor and council of the time didn’t do, or refused to do whatever was needed to get them here. We all know the story, but apathy reigns in Chatham-Kent.
    As a retired senior, I have to wonder just how much longer my wife and I will be able to afford to live in our house at the rate this council spends (wastes) our money. Hopefully, the new blood on council will be enough to effect some change if not all that is needed to bring Chatham-Kent back from the brink.
    Geoff. Clement

    • Interesting … just moved to Chatham and that is exactly what I see … lack of jobs and opportunities for the youth and its citizens … the career politicians must be removed and new blood needs to be voted in place … If Mississauga can do it … Chatham which is closer to the boarder with Canada’s largest trading partner can do it as well … incentives must be given to companies willing to set up business in Chatham … business relations must be forged with American, South American, European and Asian companies … focusing and betting all the coins in China is a wrong approach … in order for Chatham to grow it must diversify. With regards to taxes it must be in conjunction with how well the Chatham economy is doing … if the economy is not doing well it does not makes sense to tax more especially when jobs are hard to find in Chatham.

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