Red Deer voters choose Tara Veer for mayor
Tara Veer is Red Deer’s new mayor.
Veer, a third-term councillor, took a deciding 9,400 votes, followed by Cindy Jefferies in a close second with 7,971 votes.
An emotional Veer called Monday evening’s results surreal and thanked her volunteer team and supporters.
“I am just honoured to be able to serve Red Deer in this capacity,” said Veer, 35. “It’s going to be a great four years and the best is yet to come.”
Veer said she has had a love of politics since she was a young age. Veer said the city took a chance with her at a very young age as a councillor and now they have trusted her in the role of mayor.
“I just feel so honoured and privileged to be able to represent the people of my community that I know and love so dearly,” said Veer.
She said the goal now is to work with the new council and bring unity in the community.
Jefferies, 50, thanked her team of volunteers and supporters for their work over the campaign. Disappointed, she said her team ran a good race but it did not go her way.
Jefferies said she was unsure of the deciding issue.
“It may have come down to the bike lanes,” said Jefferies. “It may have come down to looking like I was the one who was going to take our city more forward and perhaps invest in it and spend a little more money. That may have been the issue but it’s really hard to say.”
Jefferies said she is not worried about what is next for her. She has spent 18 years in public office, serving on Red Deer city council since 2004 and for nine years on Red Deer Public School District board before that.
“I have a list a mile long of projects that I would like to work on,” said Jefferies. “I’m going to sit down over the next little bit and maybe take a holiday.”
Placing third in the race was Dennis Trepanier with 1,513 votes, followed by William Horn with 951 votes and Chad Mason with 409 votes.
Horn said he was obviously disappointed with the outcome. He said other candidates may have lobbied harder and spent more money on their campaigns.
Trepanier declined comment while Mason was unavailable.
The race for the mayor’s chair became wide opened when Morris Flewwelling, 72, decided not to run again.
Municipal terms have changed this election from the previous three years to four.