For Doug McCallum, the third time’s a charm.
Having lost the mayor’s seat to Dianne Watts in 2005, and his attempt to reclaim the big chair in 2014, McCallum is once again on Surrey’s civic throne for a fourth term, albeit after a 13-year hiatus from city politics.
During his winner’s speech, McCallum said Surrey voters “have sent a message to the rest of the province.”
“We are a great city — a great international city. You’ve elected a council that’s going to fight for you to get your rights.”
McCallum had 45,323 votes as of 11:11 p.m., handily defeating Surrey First’s Tom Gill who had 28,304 votes and Integrity Now’s Bruce Hayne with 27,798.
His Safe Surrey Coalition cleaned up. His fellow Safe Surrey Coalition council candidates Doug Elford, Laurie Guerra, Jack Singh Hundial, Brenda Locke, Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Steven Pettigrew have been elected to council.
McCallum described his councilmates as “the finest team that has ever been put together in B.C. politics.” He said it’s a team that “respects and reflects the image that we want to see in Surrey as we go forward.”
Click here for the latest results from the City of Surrey.
The lone Surrey First member to win a seat is Linda Annis.
In his speech, McCallum thanked his family, his team and his supporters. He also thanked the other seven mayoral candidates.
“To run for mayor of Surrey is a very difficult and hard job. At the end of the day, all of them put their very best effort through,” he said. “I also know how hard it is to lose elections. I have a lot of sympathy for them, and I want to say to all of them, ‘Congratulations’ for stepping forward and running for mayor.”
McCallum’s first day in council chambers ought to be a real sleeve roller.
McCallum told the crowd of Safe Surrey Coalition supporters at Mirage banquet hall that Surrey will be seeing its own police force, the building of a SkyTrain extension, the removal of paid parking on the streets around the hospital and “smart development” throughout the city.
“This campaign was all about change,” McCallum said to cheers from the crowd. “And you have just elected a council that is going to make those changes.”
McCallum also said there are “many more things to do and we’re going to do all of that, literally, in the first couple of council meetings when we start.”
The inaugural council meeting will be Nov. 5.
McCallum served as Surrey’s mayor from 1996 to 2005, under the now-defunct Surrey Electors Team slate. In 2014, and again this time around, he led the Safe Surrey Coalition.
Mayor Linda Hepner, Watts’ Surrey First slate successor, clipped McCallum’s wings at the polls in 2014, defeating him with 50,782 votes to his 27,982.