SURREY – Though this is the second election in a row that’s seen Surrey First sweep all nine council seats, there are a few new faces at the table. Newcomers Vera LeFranc, Mike Starchuk and Dave Woods will join incumbents Judy Villeneuve, Tom Gill, Mary Martin, Barbara Steele and Bruce Hayne. The new councillors received the lowest votes of the Surrey First slate. Gill topped the polls, earning 52,338 votes, next to veteran Villeneuve with 49,210. Next was Steele (44,469), Martin (43,937), Hayne (41,877), then the incoming Woods (41,167), Starchuk (40,181) and LeFranc (37,597). While Surrey First swept all the seats, the councillors took home roughly 50 per cent of the votes. Out of 698,499 votes cast for councillors, Surrey First received 350,776. LeFranc, a Guildford resident, is senior manager of community projects for Vancity and a co-ordinator of the Surrey Homeless and Housing Fund. She has worked with the society’s board of directors and foundation to distribute close to $3 million in funding to organizations serving Surrey’s most vulnerable.
Starchuk, a longtime firefighter, served as the city’s Chief Fire Prevention Officer until he retired last July. He is one of the founding members of the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society.
Woods, a retired RCMP staff sergeant and former district commander for Port Kells/Cloverdale, has served 43 years with the RCMP, primarily in Surrey and Burnaby. LeFranc, Starchuk and Woods replaced Hepner, Marvin Hunt and Barinder Rasode as the party’s council candidates. Hunt left his councillor position earlier this year after being elected MLA for Surrey-Panorama, while Rasode split from the slate in April citing disagreements with the party. As for those who were unsuccessful in their bid for a seat on Surrey council, next in line was Safe Surrey Coalition’s Rina Gill, who received 28,100 votes, then One Surrey’s Michael Bose and Kal Dosanjh, who took home 27,178 and 26,970 votes respectively. Next, also with Safe Surrey, were candidates Justin Thind (24,514) and Beau Simpson (19,981).
In all, the 27 unsuccessful council candidates received 347,723 votes – an average of 12,879 each.