John’s out, Jon’s in, in Ward 26

It was called one of the races to watch in tonight’s Toronto election: the Ward 26 rematch between an incumbent councillor and the challenger who almost unseated him last time.

And when it was over, Jon Burnside says he was “honoured and humbled” to have been elected the new councillor for Don Valley West.

Burnside, who was endorsed earlier in the campaign by mayor-elect John Tory, beat out incumbent John Parker by more than 3,000 votes. He ended up garnering over 42 per cent of the ballots cast, with a total of 9,415 to Parker’s 6,167.

Four other candidates for councillor split the remaining votes.

Burnside has been active in the community since 1991, when he joined the Toronto police to work in Divisions 53 and 54. He served the Bennington Heights, Leaside, Thorncliffe Park, and Flemingdon Park areas for over 10 years and describes law enforcement as a “rewarding profession.”

In his endorsement, Tory referred to Burnside as “a champion for the neighbourhoods of Ward 26. For more than two decades, he has demonstrated an ability to work with others and deliver meaningful results.”

Parker had served as Ward 26 councillor since his election in December 2006. Burnside finished a close second to him in the 2010 race for Ward 26 councillor, coming within 415 votes of victory.

Burnside took to Twitter earlier this evening to announce his reaction to the results and post a photo of himself and supporters in the Thorncliffe Park area.

“I am honoured and humbled that the people of Ward 26 have trusted me to be their voice at city hall,” he tweeted.