Dobson takes St. James

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Consistency was key for Shawn Dobson, who was elected city councillor for the St. James ward on Oct. 26.

“I’m ecstatic. This is awesome. I can’t wait to get started,” Dobson said in an interview in his mother’s Crestview home shortly after voters decided his victory. “After this pandemic, we have a lot of catching up to do, and I think we can do it in the next four years.”

The 63-year-old carpenter for the St. James-Assiniboia School Division will replace outgoing two-term councillor Scott Gillingham, who was elected the next mayor of Winnipeg.

Photo by Katlyn Streilein

Shawn Dobson, 63, is the new city councillor for St. James.

Dobson earned 4,880 votes (33.61 per cent of the vote), with all polls reporting. Second-place candidate Kelly Ryback gleaned 3,693 votes (25.43 per cent of the vote), while third-place hopeful Daevid Ramey, who is president of Bourkevale Community Centre and a communications manager for IKEA, had 2,218 votes. Eddie Ayoub, artistic director for Art City Inc., garnered 2,062 votes. Tim Diak tallied 1,667.

Dobson said he had an inkling the race would end in his favour, but the news still set his election-night hub abuzz with congratulatory phone calls and knocks on the door.

Dobson has run in every civic election for the past two decades. He served as city councillor for the now-dissolved St. Charles ward for a four-year term beginning in 2014. At the time, the St. Charles ward encompassed areas of what are now the St. James and Charleswood-Westwood-Tuxedo wards.

In the 2018 civic election, Dobson ran against Gillinghamin the newly defined St. James ward but fell short by 3,390 votes.

Dobson’s platform targeted fiscal responsibility, transparent government, crime prevention, pothole repair and snow-free sidewalks, and curbing sewer overflows.

“We got to get our potholes fixed — that is a big one. Get them fixed early,” Dobson said.

As councillor for St. James, Dobson will represent the neighbourhoods of Crestview, Deer Lodge, Heritage Park, Silver Heights and Sturgeon Creek.

Ryback’s election night gathering was held at D-Jay’s Restaurant on Portage Avenue. The 58-year-old retired call-centre manager was joined by family and friends, some of whom he became close with while on the campaign trail.

“It’s been an absolutely incredible journey,” Ryback said. “I was always proud of St. James and I’m even more proud now…We’ll see what the future holds.”

Ryback said he wants Winnipeggers to hold the next round of city council representatives accountable.

“Folks, demand the best. Because you deserve it,” Ryback said.

For more information on Dobson’s platform, visit his campaign website at www.voteshawndobson.ca

Katlyn Streilein

Katlyn Streilein
Community Journalist

Katlyn Streilein is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She can be reached by phone at 204-697-7132 or by email at katlyn.streilein@canstarnews.com

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