Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

26-year era comes to an end

Mood at victor's office one of jubilation and surprise

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St. James-Brooklands 46 of 46 polls Scott Fielding 4036 Jae Eadie* 2454 Constance Menzies 1387 Fred Morris 521 A neck-in-neck race in St. James-Brooklands has resulted in victory for candidate Scott Fielding and the end of a 26-year era in office for incumbent Jae Eadie.

A total of 4,036 votes came in for Fielding, a 34-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep and co-owner of Tiber River Naturals, compared to 2,454 votes for incumbent Jae Eadie.

"I feel great. It's been a fantastic campaign," said Fielding, surrounded by campaign workers and family, including his wife, Michelle Lalonde, and two-year-old daughter, Paige.

At Fielding's campaign office, the mood was one of both jubilation and surprise. Campaign workers said the result showed clearly that voters wanted a different voice at city hall.

"People wanted a change, and that was the main issue," said Fielding.

Fielding said his focus on crime prevention also likely made a difference in the numbers. Fielding himself has been a victim of theft and break-ins three times in the past year.

"I don't know if it was a pity vote, but there are hundreds of crime stories out there, and I had a platform with a six-point plan on crime," he said.

Fielding's win means the end of 26 years in office for Eadie, who served eight consecutive terms as a city councillor after being elected in 1980.

The mood was more reflective at Eadie's camp.

"I'm relieved that it's over," said Eadie. "I'm of course disappointed. This is the ultimate form of term limit, when the voters decide, rather than have politicians making laws."

Eadie called Fielding's campaign headquarters soon after learning of the loss to offer his congratulations.

Eadie fought a tight race with Fielding, made more difficult by the open support lent to Fielding by Ryan Craig, Mayor Sam Katz's chief of staff.

"That was an annoyance to me," said Eadie. "It was also apparently a surprise to Sam, because that was done without his knowledge.

"I've been in many of these campaigns, and you've got to live with the results," said Eadie.

Eadie said his only immediate plans for the future were a glass of wine with some of his campaign workers and his wife.

"I haven't made any other plans, and I probably won't even think about it for a little while yet," he said. "I'll wait until I've had a chance to reorient myself."

Candidate Constance Menzies, a Green Party member, took in 1,387 votes in the race, while candidate Fred Morris collected 521 votes.

lindsey.wiebe@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 26, 2006 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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