Jeff Leal returns to politics as new mayor of Peterborough

Peterborough has elected its next mayor and council. Former MPP and alderman Jeff Leal will lead a council with some new faces at the table. Mark Giunta reports.

After a four-year hiatus, Jeff Leal is returning to politics after being elected the new mayor of the City of Peterborough, Ont., on Monday night.

Leal will extend his 33-year political career after defeating candidates Brian Lumsden, Victor Kreuz, and city councillors Henry Clarke and Stephen Wright in the municipal election.

Leal fills the mayoral seat vacated by Diane Therrien who decided not to seek re-election after being elected to the position in 2018.

Final results have yet to be tallied but Leal was declared a winner around 9:40 p.m. Through 54 of 54 polls reporting (26,377 ballots), Leal had received 12,911 votes or 49.33  per cent of the ballots cast.

Clarke was second with 8,280 votes (31.63 per cent) followed by 3,924 votes for Wright (15 per cent). Lumsden received 728 votes (2.78 per cent) while Kreuz had 331 votes (1.26 per cent).

“I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and with you, we’ll build the Peterborough of tomorrow, together,” he said during his acceptance speech at the Maple Moose Pub on George St.

The polls were extended an extra 30 minutes due to technical issues prior to the scheduled 8 p.m. closing.

Leal first represented Otonabee Ward on city council in 1985 and spent 18 years as a councillor. During that time he also served as deputy mayor from 1993 to 2003 before jumping to provincial politics.

He lost his first provincial election in 1999 but became Peterborough-Kawartha’s MPP in 2003. He was re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014 before losing to Conservative candidate Dave Smith in 2018.

The city reports there were 65,703 eligible voters. However, only 40.15 per cent voted.

Joining Leal at the council table will be several incumbents. Each ward elects two councillors:

Ward 1 Otonabee:

  • Lesley Parnell (incumbent) with 3,132 votes (40.82 per cent).
  • Kevin Duguay with 1,943 votes (25.33 per cent).

Other candidates include Eleanor Underwood (1,169 votes/15.24 per cent), Chanté White (1,032 votes/13.45 per cent) and Nathan Russell-Meharry (396 votes/5.16 per cent).

Ward 2 Monaghan:

  • Matt Crowley with 2,871 votes (28 per cent)
  • Don Vassiliadis (incumbent) with 2,469 votes (24.08 per cent)

Other candidates include Jeff Westlake (1,968 votes/19.19 per cent), Charmaine Magumbe (1,620 votes/15.8 per cent), Tom Wigglesworth (806 votes/7.86 per cent) and Lyle Saunders (520 votes/5.07 per cent).

Ward 3 Town:

  • Alex Bierk with 2,600 votes (30.79 per cent)
  • Joy Lachicha with 2,308 votes (27.3 per cent)

Incumbent Dean Pappas was sitting in third with 2,143 votes (25.38 per cent) following by Vickie Karikas (966 votes/11.4 per cent) and Brian Christoph (428 votes/5.07 per cent)

Ward 4 Ashburnham

  • Gary Baldwin (incumbent) with 3,326 votes (40.07 per cent)
  • Keith Riel (incumbent) with 2,964 votes (35.7 per cent)

The other candidate running is Andrew MacGregor with 2,011 votes (24.23 per cent)

Ward 5 Northcrest

  • Andrew Beamer (incumbent) with 4,003 votes (38.28 per cent)
  • Dave Haacke with 2,334 votes (22.32 per cent). Haccke is a former councillor who served the ward from 2014 to 2018 but lost his seat to Wright in the 2018 election.

Other candidates Carlotta James (1,874 votes/17.92 per cent), Shauna Kingston (1,105 votes/10.57 per cent), Aldo Andreoli (772 votes/6.9per cent) and Karen Grant (420 votes/4.02 per cent).

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