Marilyn Gladu bucked a 52-year-old local tradition Monday when the federal Conservatives won the riding of Sarnia-Lambton but were swept from power by Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.
Sarnia-Lambton had elected the candidate from the party that went on to form the government in every single federal election since 1963.
But that all changed when Gladu, a professional engineer, held on to the Conservative seat that was left vacant by the retiring Pat Davidson.
With the final vote count not yet complete, Gladu had a roughly 3,000 vote lead over Jason McMichael of the NDP. Liberal Dave McPhail was third and the Green Party’s Peter Smith a distant fourth.
“I’m very honoured to have been elected to represent the people of Sarnia-Lambton,” Gladu told a cheering crowd of about 200 supporters gathered at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall.
“I’m committed now to delivering on my promises,” she said. “I said I’d be a strong voice. I said I’d create jobs to help us grow and prosper, and certainly that’s exactly what I’m going to do for those who supported me and for those who did not support me.
“I want to represent all the constituents of Sarnia-Lambton.”
Gladu, 52, is a political newcomer who is taking a leave of absence from her job at WorsleyParsons.
– Cathy Dobson and George Mathewson