May 30th, 2024

Incumbents returning to city hall

By Tim Kalinowski on October 19, 2021.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Mark Campbell talks with supporters while waiting for the municipal election results.


While some of the races were close, all four city council incumbents ultimately ended up being re-elected by Lethbridge residents Monday night.
Of the four returning councillors, Ryan Parker, Jeff Carlson, Belinda Crowson and Mark Campbell, Crowson enjoyed the strongest voter support on the night, placing second in the overall vote count among all council candidates with 10,738 votes. This will be Crowson’s second term in office. Crowson said what she was most proud of on the evening wasn’t her own great result, it was the fact that Lethbridge residents turned out in such great numbers to vote.
“We are up around 35 per cent,” she said. “So congratulations to the voters who cared enough and got out and voted. It’s going to be an interesting mix with five people from the old council and four more new voices on there.
“People are concerned about how we are going to come out of the pandemic, what sort of recovery we are going to look at,” she added. “We know things like social problems and crime are high on people’s list of concerns. So there are a lot of things we’ll need to work on, and we need to find ways that actually take care of the people of Lethbridge, but also help us to solve these problems.”
Crowson said she intended to enjoy the evening after being re-elected before getting right down to business in the new term.
“I know myself there are a couple of resolutions I would like to bring forward quite quickly,” she said. “One I have been talking to people on my Facebook page about is a day of community sorrow. Who knows when this will be? But hopefully in 2022, there will be something that will allow us to get through the pandemic together. And then, of course, I need to finish the work I started on the Police Commission bylaw and a few other things. There are a lot of resolutions I have been thinking about over the last four weeks during the election I would like to bring forward quite early in this council’s term.”
Ryan Parker was re-elected for a nearly unprecedented eighth term in office on Monday night with 10,256 votes.
Parker said he was grateful to the citizens of Lethbridge for continuing to put their trust in him after all these years.
“I am shocked I am still the youngest guy there, and I am in my eighth term,” he said. “It’s amazing and I am humbled, and very excited. I think the community made some good decisions, and I am excited about working with the new council.
“I am amazed at the voter turnout. It’s a huge voter turnout, and we owe a lot to the City Clerk’s department because they gave people a lot of options to vote.”
Parker said public safety was top of mind for him coming into the new term.
“I think first of all we have got to get through COVID,” he said when asked about his priorities. “This COVID has been around for a while and we need to learn to adapt, and there is no real endgame to that adaptation. But you still have to govern and the City services are all fulfilled. I think we will need to tackle the issue of safety and security; that is first and foremost.”
Mark Campbell, who was top vote getter in the 2017 municipal election, had to settle for sixth overall this time around. Campbell acknowledged the work he and other councillors had to do to bring a sense of civility to council after a divisive four years.
“The first thing that comes to mind is it is a relief,” he said, when asked about the voters placing their faith in him again. “I know there was a lot of division and people were upset with a lot of things, but I hope we can regain everyone’s trust, and this council can get together and unite, and move forward to do some great things for the city. And I feel quite optimistic about that, and you’ve got some good people that have been elected this time around, I think.”
Fifth term councillor Jeff Carlson placed seventh in the voting to “squeak” by for a win in this election. Carlson acknowledged the close result, but also his elation at being entrusted by the citizens of Lethbridge for another term.
“I am as honoured as ever,” he stated. “Certainly Lethbridge is huge to me. It was a nailbiter tonight. It was a tough four years. It was a tough election. But I am so thankful for this support.”
Carlson said he was excited to be part of the new city council, and to work with all those elected for the betterment of the city.
“I am very excited,” he said. “The candidates all got to get to know each other over the last 30 or 60 days. Over the last two weeks we spent a lot of time sitting in rooms and chatting together. And, my goodness, the folks that ran, the folks that won, really have the best of Lethbridge in their heart. I think they have a lot to bring to the table, and I think it is going to be a forward looking, progressive council.”

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