The NDP swept up St. James from the PCs and held on to its seat in Wolseley on election night.
Adrien Sala is the new MLA for St. James. In Wolseley, Green Party of Manitoba favourite David Nickarz lost to the NDP’s Lisa Naylor.
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In St. James the PCs and NDP battled it out, with the initial votes in favour of PC candidate Michelle Richard. But in the end, Sala pulled ahead, and won the riding with 4,009 votes, or 1,242 more than Richard.
Sala said he’s extremely excited to get to work.
"I’m extremely excited that the folks here in St. James entrusted me with going to the Legislature to represent them," Sala said inside his campaign office. "Thank you so much for your trust. I look forward to fighting for Manitobans every single day when I’m in that building."
Sala brings years of community work to the position. Before his current job at Assiniboine Credit Union, he worked with the provincial housing and community development department. There, he worked to improve the quality of social and affordable housing programming. He also spent eight years working with community programs focused on helping marginalized youth find work.
St. James was previously held by the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba. Scott Johnston was elected as MLA of St. James in the 2016 election. Johnston has since moved on to the Assiniboia riding, where he was elected with 42.7 per cent of the votes.
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In Wolseley, Naylor beat back Nickarz, in a fight between the GMP’s national campaign versus a grassroots effort from local Wolseley residents. Naylor won the riding by 917 votes.
Naylor is happy to begin working for the people of Wolseley.
"I feel really happy. I feel happy for community of Wolseley for knowing they get to still be represented by the NDP," Naylor said outside her campaign office. "I feel incredible (about) the amount of work we put into this campaign, grateful for that support and grateful for the opportunity to represent Wolseley at the Legislature."
Naylor is an activist who has worked in front-line community health organizations for 30 years. She started her career as a street outreach worker in Toronto and worked as a counsellor with sexually exploited youth, before moving to Winnipeg to work as a counsellor at the Women’s Health Clinic.
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In Notre Dame, Malaya Marcelino is the NDP MLA for the newly created constituency. Marcelino won in a landslide victory with 3,361 votes, around 65 per cent of the total votes.
Marcelino said they were pretty confident going into the race, but they still put in work.
"I didn’t want to take anything for granted. We still had to put in all the hard work, (we were) trying to meet as many people as possible," Marcelino said. "It was a pretty resounding win, we’re very happy about that."
Marcelino said her office has hit the ground running, working to establish a constituency committee that will help identify the needs of Notre Dame.
Community journalist — The Metro
Justin Luschinski is the community journalist for The Metro. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org