BRANDON — Once again, Brandon—Souris voters chose to "rehire Maguire."
Supporters, some wearing T-shirts emblazoned with a photo of a grinning Larry Maguire wearing a cowboy hat, cheered as the Conservative incumbent entered the room to celebrate his federal election win Monday night at the Riverbank Discovery Centre.
"Thank you to all the volunteer work you’ve done," he said. "Without that team approach we have here in Brandon—Souris, it wouldn’t be possible to do what we did tonight here."
Maguire has held the southwest Manitoba seat since 2013.
"Obviously, I wish we could have formed a strong federal Conservative government tonight. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen, and we’ll just have to see how that unfolds in the next weeks and months as we go forward. Sometimes, minority governments last quite a while and, sometimes, they have a short life," he said.
At 11:30 p.m., Maguire led his closest challenger (NDP candidate Ashley Duguay) by almost 20,000 votes.
There was a buzz in the room at the riding's Tory campaign party long before the final result was called. The approximately 75 people in attendance cheered when the voting numbers scrolled across the television screen.
"Larry will go to Ottawa and he will support the people of Brandon—Souris. He will fight for us, he will be there for us," supporter Brenda Gibson said.
Brandon—Souris posted a record-tying eight candidates running for election in 2019.
Along with Maguire and Duguay, Terry Hayward ran for the Liberals, Rob Lussier for People’s Party, Bill Tiessen for the Greens, Rebecca Hein for Christian Heritage, and Vanessa Hamilton and Rob Eastcott both ran as independents.
Hayward, who had been seen as the main challenger to Maguire, 70, throughout the local campaign, finished in third place.
"I’ll certainly stay," Hayward said, when asked whether he would run again.
"I joined the party late in my life — 2008 was the first time I joined a federal party of any sort, so I see myself as a long-term volunteer with the party doing whatever is needed."
— Brandon Sun