For Bill Lawrence, the third time's a charm.
After weeks of campaigning by candidates eager to fill the vacant seat on council, Lawrence came out on top following Saturday's byelection. The win marked his first successful run at politics, having run during the 2008 municipal election and the 2009 byelection.
Lawrence, owner of the Sandpiper Pub and Restaurant as well as the accompanying liquor store, took the top spot Saturday with 620 votes. He beat out eight other candidates in an election that saw a just 15 per cent of eligible voters, or 2,252, turn out to cast a ballot.
When asked how he felt two days after the vote, Lawrence said he was still adjusting to the fact that he won.
"The win felt good because based on the votes themselves, I had a pretty good decisive win," he said.
Lawrence fills the council spot left by the late Mary-Wade Anderson, who passed away in June at the age of 84.
Having campaigned heavily on his business background, Lawrence said that he would be best-suited to adequately represent White Rock's small businesses at the council table.
White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin was also happy with the results, saying he hoped to welcome Lawrence on soon, and work with a full council once more.
"This is great. I think he'll be a good member of council and we're really looking forward to getting his perspective on things," said Baldwin. "We've been missing that position for a while now."
VOTER TURNOUT LOW
As for voter turnout, the weekend's vote saw a slight decrease compared to the city's last byelection, held in 2009. For that vote, 16 per cent of the city's voters made the effort to get to the polls.
While the numbers are considered unofficial until the City of White Rock formally releases the vote count on Wednesday, Lawrence reportedly beat the runner-up, Dave Chesney, by more than a hundred votes.
Chesney himself drew 490 votes, and was followed by Megan Knight with 482, Pat Petrala with 233, Grant O'Kane with 165, Graham Wood with 99, Bruce McWilliam with 90, Scott Kristjanson with 45 and Tom Willman with 28.
When asked about the low-voter turnout, Lawrence said he hoped to see more out at the polls, saying he did all he could to try to get people out and vote.
Baldwin agreed, adding that he was disappointed by the turnout.
'BIG SHOES TO FILL'
Lawrence is still excited to assume his position on council and step in where Mary-Wade Anderson left off.
"Those are definitely pretty big shoes to fill," he said. "Mary-Wade was a fantastic individual, highly respected and the amount of commitment she had to White Rock and then south Surrey was huge. It will be difficult to even compare myself to her and her achievements but I will do my best to make sure those that do live in White Rock are represented well and that the choice made during this election is one they feel comfortable with."
Lawrence will be officially sworn in at a special council meeting to be held on Nov. 19 at White Rock City Hall.
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