It was like Kristyn Wong-Tam and her supporters were riding roller coasters Monday night.
Wong-Tam and her major competitor Ken Chan seesawed in the lead as the results came in for Ward 27. Sometimes the two contenders were separated by just one vote. And Wong-Tam’s supporters, gathered at Church Street’s Slack’s, gasped and hissed and chanted her name as the numbers came in.
But finally, Wong-Tam clinched the win by just over 450 votes, replacing Kyle Rae and becoming the new city councillor in Ward 27 (Toronto Centre-Rosedale). Wong-Tam arrived at her end-of-campaign party at with her parents shortly after her winning result.
Despite the razor-thin margin, Wong-Tam said she never worried that she might lose.
“We are feeling very confident that at least we delivered our messages out,” the 39-year-old said. “We got all these responses. For me, regardless of who was going to win, I am very proud of my team.”
Wong-Tam says as a new councillor, her first step is to reconnect the local residents and 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 has policy divergence on many issues with the mayor-elect 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 a ten-month marathon campaign, Wong-Tam’s campaign manager Deb Parent was proud of what Wong-Tam and her team had achieved. “She would become a public name to make sure more woman are elected, and more diverse women are elected, because we still do not have the representation in the city council the city deserves,” Parent said.