After a brief flirtation with the federal side of the political spectrum, Russ Wyatt will remain seated where he has been for the last 12 years.
The incumbent in the Transcona ward of Winnipeg won his third consecutive re-election on Wednesday night, defeating his closest competitor, Ray Ulasy, by a 4,213-vote margin. Wyatt finished with 8,490 votes, good for 61.77 per cent of total voters, while Ulasy captured 4,277 votes.
The other two candidates in the race, Blessing Feschuk and George Baars-Wilhelm, received 507 (3.69 per cent) and 470 (3.42 per cent) votes respectively.
"This is made possible by the dedication and support I receive from you," Wyatt told over 100 supporters at Dal’s Restaurant and Lounge at 701 Regent Ave. W. "None of the things we have achieved and will achieve would be possible without your work and support.
"Your support makes it possible for us to do what we are doing in the community. It gives me the courage and the will to do the things needed to be done."
Wyatt, who first won his seat back in 2002, briefly entertained the idea of vacating his council seat and running for the federal Liberal party, before ultimately returning to the civic race.
"They say politics is like making a sausage," Wyatt explained. "Everybody likes to eat the sausage at the end of the day but no one likes seeing the sausage get made. And that’s the truth. Day in and day out, it’s an up-and-down battle."
Wyatt said he felt much has been accomplished during his time on council and looked forward to the future.
"I think we have turned the page there for the past 12 years, we have done so many great things and we will continue to do great things."
Wyatt praised his supporters, his staff and their doctrine of fighting a fair and honest fight.
"In all our elections we always spoke the truth, we always gave the facts," Wyatt said. "We never extended the facts, we never stretched the truth. We said, ‘This is what we can do, this is what can be done, and this is what he have done’ and we stood by that.
"We always were frank, and we always upheld that frankness with the electorate, which is crucial in democracy."
Meanwhile, Ulasy was humble in defeat, pointing to his own campaign as one of strength.
"Russ told me when I congratulated him that no one has ever given him a run like we did," Ulasy said from his Canad Inns Regent headquarters.
"In regards to our campaign, we knew this was probably the toughest incumbent in all of city council. We ran a good campaign and I think the numbers showed that. We were a couple thousand short of being neck and neck with him.
"There is not much else we could have done. We had the right people behind us."