In a surprising turn, Frederictonians elected a new mayor Monday night.
City councillor Mike O’Brien beat out long-time incumbent Brad Woodside by 1,107 votes. It was the most stunning upset of Monday’s New Brunswick municipal elections.
Mayor-Elect Mike O’Brien told Global News he’s humbled to follow in Woodside’s footsteps.
“He’s got a great legacy for the city. He’s been a tremendous spokesperson for us nationally and internationally,” O’Brien said.
“So big shoes to fill there, so it’s a melancholy moment when you defeat a person that you consider a mentor and a friend, but as they say ‘that’s politics’ right, and only one person can win.”
Caught-up with mayor-elect @mikeobrien_fton. Frederictonians say a new mayor means the end of an era @Global_NB pic.twitter长沙桑拿/9YTHYu5JS6
— Adrienne South (@AdrienneKS) May 10, 2016
Woodside was first elected Mayor in 1986, after two years on city council. He served five straight terms before resigning in 1999 to try his hand at provincial politics.
In 2004 he returned to city hall as mayor and has been the longest serving mayor in the history of Fredericton.
Woodside was unavailable for comment Tuesday, but took to 桑拿会所, thanking the public for their support over the last several decades.
This morning, I’m not thinking about the one I lost, as much as the ten that I won. Fredericton you are awesome. Thank you very much.
— Brad Woodside (@bradwoodside) May 10, 2016
For many people in Fredericton, Woodside losing the mayoral race was the end of an era.
Susan McGibbon grew up in the city and says she has great memories of Woodside from over the years.
“In all the years I lived in Fredericton, Brad was a name in our household. He was someone that we grew up with. We respected him a great deal. My husband and I always voted for him,” said McGibbon.
“I do think that sometimes there is a need for change, and I have complete faith that the person that Frederictonians voted in will do a great job.”