Jeff Agar had a hard time finding the words.
“It’s awesome,” he said, fighting back tears at the Civic Centre in St. Clair Township, moments after learning he’d been voted mayor of the municipality. Overcome with emotio, he gave all the credit to wife Sue.
“We’ve been working pretty hard at it.
“She’s my main campaigner here; if it wasn’t for Sue, I wouldn’t be here.”
It had been pegged as a close race throughout the campaign, between Agar — a former three-term councillor who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2018 — and two-term Ward 1 councillor Tracy Kingston. Newcomer Chad Shymko was also vying for the township’s top job, held by outgoing mayor Steve Arnold since 2006.
“I learned a lot from him,” Agar said of Arnold, who announced earlier this year he wouldn’t seek re-election, after a 37 career in politics.
The township’s unofficial results show Agar earned 50.25% of the votes, or, 2,437 votes, just ahead of Kingston’s 44.43%, or 2,155 votes.
Shymko earned 5.32% of the votes with 258.
Deputy Mayor Steve Miller was acclaimed.
The three councillors named for Ward 1 were incumbent Pat Brown (2,033 votes), and newcomers Holly Foster (1,736 votes) and Cathy Langis (1662 votes). Mishele Maitland was close behind with 1,061 votes, along with Bill Moran (1,012) and Charles Mortley-Wood (616).
The two councillors named for Ward 2 were incumbent Bill Myers (898 votes) and newcomer Brad Langstaff (735 votes), narrowly edging out Craig Bezaire (712 votes). Gary Martin earned 437 votes.
Voter turnout was just 39.34%, compared to 48.6% in 2018.
This marked the fifth consecutive election using the vote-by-mail system in St. Clair Township.
Unofficial school board trustee results:
Lambton Kent District School Board (Central Lambton), 1 to be elected:
Greg Agar – 1,891
Heather Skolly – 777
Kathryn Shailer – 761
St. Clair Catholic District School Board (South Lambton/East Kent): Jann Tooshkening, (ACCLAIMED)
Conseil Scolaire Viamonde (French Public Trustee): David Paradis, (ACCLAIMED)
Conseil Scolaire Catholiques Providence (French Catholic Trustee) 1 to be elected:
Sylvie C. Barbeau-Chmielewski – 10
Meghan Reale – 8