See-saw battle in Ward 27 all night long

Waiting for the outcome of the election in Ward 27, last night, proved to be a roller coaster ride for Kristyn Wong-Tam’s supporters.

They were watching and waiting in front of TV monitors all evening long.

The lead went back and forth for Wong-Tam and her major competitor Ken Chan. For a while the disparity was only one vote. It was too close to call until 95 per cent of the votes were counted. Finally, Wong-Tam won by over 6,800 votes, replacing Kyle Rae and becoming the new city councillor for Toronto Centre-Rosedale.

In Slack’s restaurant on Church Street, where Wong-Tam held her post election party, her supporters’ emotion alternated between exhilaration and frustration every time CP24 updated the poll. They cheered and hissed, but they were always chanting “KWT, KWT” and holding each other’s hands.

Wong-Tam showed up at the party with her parents briefly after the results were announced. Winning by a razor-thin margin, the 39-year-old said she never worried about losing.

“We are feeling very confident that at least we delivered our messages,” she said, “We got all these responses. For me, regardless of who was going to win, I am very proud of my team.”

As a new councillor, Wong-Tam says her first step is to re-connect the local residents to the City Council.

“It’s about having a council office open to phone calls and email,” she said. “I will go to them when I need to.”

Wong-Tam’s policies diverge on many issues with the newly elected mayor Rob Ford. However, she said she was looking forward to work with him.

“I believe that he loves this city as much as I do,” she said. “Even though we have different visions, I am keenly interested in what we can find in common.”

After 10 months of campaign, Wong-Tam’s campaign manager Deb Parent was proud of what the Wong-Tam team had achieved.

“She would become a public name to make sure more women are elected, and more diverse women are elected, because we still do not have the representation in the City Council the City deserves, ” she said.