Thompson gets ringing endorsement from voters

Ward 37 voters want to be where everyone knows their name — especially their city councillor.

On Monday night, that place was the Victoria and Albert Pub at 1921 Lawrence Ave. E., where newly re-elected councillor Michael Thompson threw his victory party.

When the incumbent entered the dimly-lit, red-and-white adorned pub, the band stopped playing as cheers erupted for the councillor who stopped to personally thank everyone in attendance for their support.

“Community is really what it’s all about: people working together and on behalf of each other to ensure that we all have a better quality of life in our city,” Thompson said.

He was re-elected to his third term with a whopping 15,129 votes, or 84 per cent of the vote. Ward 37 challenger Isabelle Champagne won 1,571 votes, Fawzi Bidawi managed 1,014 and Sergio Otoya Salazar finished with 338.

Local resident Jose Rhodes said her vote has gone to Thompson since winning his first term as city councillor in 2003.

“Michael has always said that he would do certain things for this area and has always fulfilled his promises,” she said. “He’s a caring individual who produces.”

Thompson said his thorough knowledge of the community contributed to his landslide win.

“[I have] experience and a solid understanding of the community,” he said. “One of my opponents doesn’t live in this community and another has only lived here for five months.”

“We were expecting to win but the results were overwhelming and I think that Michael got the highest results of any councillor in the city,” said Ihor D. Wons, executive assistant to Thompson. “It makes you feel fantastic that you were successful in getting the vote out.”

Thompson thanked wife Jodi Zimbel, his family, campaign team, supporters and the numerous youth volunteers involved in the campaign for their dedication.

“It’s very hard work that we do but we do it with grace and with a great passion,” Thompson said.