Simon Gibson was declared the new MLA for Abbotsford-Mission at 9:20 p.m. May 14 with 27 of 117 ballot boxes counted.
The 30-year Abbotsford councillor seemed to be in disbelief when the results came rolling in, waiting for more ballots to be counted before he delivered his victory speech to cheering supporters.
“I am thrilled to be able to represent the people of Abbotsford-Mission,” said Gibson. “I look forward to serving the communities over the next four years. I’m especially excited to be a part of a Liberal majority government.”
Gibson added he was always optimistic, but was never sure what would happen election night.
“It’s thrilling to have this level of support.”
As more votes were counted and the results sinking in, Gibson told supporters at his campaign office, “I will remember this moment; I treasure this moment very much.”
Gibson lives in Abbotsford, but he said Mission will be his second home.
Runner-up Preet Rai, the Abbotsford school trustee who ran for the BC NDP, spoke briefly to his campaign supporters just before 10 p.m., thanking them for their efforts during the lead-up to the election.
Rai said to The Record that he had “a lot of fun door knocking” and that the people of both communities treated him with a lot of respect.
BC Conservative candidate Don Stahl placed third overall and said like many in the province, was “surprised to see the Liberals take government and make a majority.”
He admitted he had a gut feeling Gibson would win in this riding.
“I think the people of Abbotsford-Mission have picked a good representative,” he offered.
Stahl said he enjoyed the campaign and was happy he ran, adding his thanks to all who voted for him.