It was too close to call in just the few minutes after polls closed on Tuesday.
As results rolled up on the TV screen the see-saw battle with voters affections looked to continue for a while in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.
“It’s coming along. It’s a good start,” said Liberal Doug Bing, a dentist, shortly before the first unofficial numbers showed, with Bing taking 40 votes and Rosenau 22.
Then the numbers reversed and Rosenau, a pharmacist, was sitting with 226 votes and Bing 203.
Heavy sighs followed along with gasps of exasperation in the downtown Maple Ridge campaign headquarters on Lougheed Highway.
“I thought it might be a nail biter all night,” said a Bing supporter.
“Let’s give it time,” added another.
But in time the results were clear. As of late Tuesday, with 128 of 129 ballot boxes counted, Bing had defeated Rosenau by a 9,288-8,596 margin.
Although the campaign got off to a slow start after delays in being declared the Liberal candidate, Bing said the election went well and that he did everything he could and “left nothing on the table.”
Maple Ridge Coun. Cheryl Ashlie’s leadership of the campaign helped a lot, he added.
Rosenau said she had an “amazing time” and an “amazing campaign team.”
Rosenau though was happy with her campaign. Certainly the ground team was stellar, she said.
“What I feel was really unfortunate was the constant smear tactics against (NDP leader Adrian Dix) it just went on and on and on.”
She’ll be returning to her job as pharmacist and Special Olympics coach.
“We’re going to analyze the situation for what it is. Some of our best MLAs have lost their seats some amazing candidates didn’t go foward.”
Former Maple Ridge councillor Craig Speirs said the Liberal victory shows that campaigning using phones and polls doesn’t work anymore. “It was a top-down approach,” that used “character assassination and outright lies.
“Negative campaigning took the day.”
Speirs though was happy that Liberal leader Christy Clark may lose her seat.
That will make it easier to displace her as party leader, “so they (Liberals) can be truly conservative.
“I just hope they change their name.”
Within less than 90 minutes of polls closing, unofficial results showed the Liberal government surviving the challenge from the NDP and remaining the government of B.C. Early results gave Clark’s B.C. Liberals 50 seats, with 33 for the NDP.
Rosenau, a rookie candidate, was trying to hold the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows riding for the New Democrats after the retirement of Michael Sather who won two elections in 2009 and 2005. Sather won the 2009 by 274 votes.
Sather, who managed Rosenau’s campaign,was also among a group of dissidents who opposed Carole James’ leadership of the B.C. NDP last fall.
He announced his retirement from politics last year.
Michael Patterson of the Green Party had 1,867. Conservative Mike Pratas had 505.
In neighbouring Maple Ridge-Mission, with 78 of 125 ballot boxes counted, incumbent Liberal Marc Dalton led the NDP’s Mike Bocking 5,216-4,491, or 725 votes.
Alex Pope of the Green Party had 938. Chad Thompson of the Conservatives had 604.
All results are unofficial.