Forrest encouraged by number of young voters in Lake Cowichan

Lake Cowichan Mayor Ross Forrest, now with three victories under his belt, was both grateful and humble at being re-elected.

Although Duncan and North Cowichan’s incumbent mayors knew by 9 p.m. that they’d campaigned successfully, he, and the rest of the candidates running in the west Cowichan community, had to wait a long time to see the results of the election.

"It took a while; we finally heard about 10:30," he said.

Forrest, with 593 votes, defeated challengers Wendy Klyne (392) and Kyle Wylie (102).

"I’m happy to be back, obviously. I thoroughly enjoyed the six years that I’ve had with the same group but I’m looking forward to the new challenge with some different faces and different perspectives." Forrest has two holdover councillors -Bob Day (649 votes) and Tim McGonigle (521) – and a pair of newbies – Carolyne Austin (525) and Lorna Vomacka (565).

"I think that’s a good healthy way to go.

You’ve got a little continuity to carry over while bringing in some new people," he said.

Asked what he thought of the campaign, Forrest said he doesn’t like campaigning.

"When you campaign, you have to say ‘me’ or ‘I’ and that’s just not the case. I’ve started some things and Bob has and Jayne [Ingram] has and Tim has and Frank [Hornbrook] has so the credit should go to all five people."

Forrest said he’s heard lots of talk from Valley colleagues about elections being "the silly season" but he’d never actually seen it himself until this year.

"But I think in the overall scheme of it, the election was a very healthy thing for our community," he said.

Lake Cowichan, like many small communities, often gives the lie to talk about lack of interest among voters.

"I think we had a pretty good turnout yesterday, about 1,100 people. That’s pretty decent. I think everybody should vote if they get the opportunity but I know a lot of people were away," Forrest said.

"However, I saw a lot of new, young voters out which really encourages me. There were some as young as 18 years old, voting for the first time, and I think that’s great. I know we had way over 100 new voters. That’s probably 10 per cent of our vote and I think that’s great," he said.

Lake Cowichan also voted against contributing to the Cowichan Sportsplex by a 618-466 tally. Forrest and the rest of council will be installed at the beginning of December.

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