Andrew Younger painted a bright streak of red onto an orange landscape last night, stealing Dartmouth East from the NDP’s Joan Massey.
The soon-to-be-former Halifax regional councillor called his down-to-the-wire win a “surprise.”
“I knew it was going to be close, but I was very scared it was going to be close on the other end,” he shouted over exuberant victory celebrations at his Main Street headquarters.
Younger, who represents East Dartmouth-The Lakes on the HRM council, orchestrated a stunning turnaround in Dartmouth East. Massey won the seat by almost 1,000 votes in 2006, with Liberal candidate Tracey Devereaux finishing a distant third. Younger finished with 4,073 votes, 170 more than Massey and an increase of the Liberal vote by more than 2,000 from the last election.
“Opposition members can still make a difference,” he said of being a member of the small official opposition. Grit Keith Colwell held his Preston seat, and the Liberals took 11 ridings overall. “That’s what I brought to the table -- people know that I’m there to be the voice for them.”
Younger was the lone member of the HRM council to successfully make the leap to provincial politics. The NDP’s Trevor Zinck was soundly re-elected in Dartmouth North, with councillor Jim Smith coming a distant second. The NDP’s Marilyn More took Dartmouth South-Portland Valley and Becky Kent romped to victory in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.
“It’s exciting,” Kent said after claiming 65 per cent of the vote. Asked if she had her eye on a cabinet seat, Kent smiled. “I’m ready. If (Darrell Dexter) sees that in me, then I’d be happy to do that.”