Charlie Fox is the winner of the byelection for a new Langley board of education trustee, with 896 votes.
With all polls reporting, including mail-in ballots, Fox had a lead of 196 votes over Joel Neufeld.
“Thanks to everybody that put their name forward,” Fox said as the final polling places were announcing their totals.
He expects to take his seat on the board of education in March.
“I’m really looking forward to getting down to work,” Fox said.
He said he’ll be focused on student success and achievement.
Fox was a longtime principal at elementary schools and secondary schools in Langley for more than 30 years. He also served several terms on the Township council before retiring his municipal seat in 2018.
Neufeld, a firefighter who has never run for office before, said he was pleased with his campaign.
“Charlie Fox did a great job, and I’m looking forward to 2022,” Neufeld said, referring to the date of the next municipal general elections.
He plans to run again, and also to bring up his main campaign issue, which was increasing school site acquisition charges to make it easier for the district to get land for new schools in fast-growing areas.
He expects to speak up about the issue during this term of the board as well, Neufeld said.
Candidate Stacey Wakelin, a business owner and social justice activist, said she was not surprised that Fox won.
“I figured he had a good chance just from name recognition and his past within the district,” she said.
She also plans to run in 2022.
“I plan on running again for trustee,” said Wakelin. “That’s where my heart is.”
Neufeld was in second place with 700 votes, and Wakelin had 666.
School board chair Rod Ross said he welcomed Fox to the team, and applauded all of the candidates who put their names forward.
Following them were Phyllis Heppner with 407, Holly Dickinson with 332, Grant Gilmour with 92 and Alex Joehl with 50.
Just 210 mail-in ballots were returned and counted.
Candidates for the Langley school board byelection will soon learn which one of them will become a new trustee.
Early results from the Langley Township board of education byelection are expected to start coming in shortly after 8 p.m., when the polls close.
Results will be posted on the Township’s website.
The candidates are:
• Holly Dickinson
• Charlie Fox
• Grant Gilmour
• Phyllis Heppner
• Alex Joehl
• Joel Neufeld
• Stacey Wakelin
According to deputy chief election officer Bob Wilson, the ballots dropped off by mail in are to be counted just before the polls close.
“We have special authority to count them early,” Wilson said.
Then immediately after 8 p.m., poll workers will be able to start counting the votes cast at the advance polls that were held last week. Just 376 votes were cast at three polling places between Feb. 17 and Feb. 19.
The race was triggered when former board chair Megan Dykeman stepped down after her victory in the Langley East riding in the October provincial election.
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