John Beddows unseats Gananoque mayor

John Beddows, Gananoque’s Mayor-Elect as a result of the Monday, Oct. 24, 2022 municipal election, has unseated incumbent Ted Lojko, who had hoped to remain in the position for another term. Photo via Local Journalism Initiative.

Gananoque will have a new mayor, following the Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, municipal election.

John Beddows won the mayor’s race with 940 votes, beating out incumbent Ted Lojko, who secured 721 votes. Greg Truesdell, the third and final mayoral candidate, received 381 votes.

“I’m tired and exhilarated,” Beddows said Monday night, moments after finding out the election results.

“I’ve knocked on a lot of doors these past few weeks, met a lot of people, and I think that was essential – to meet people, to hear what they had to say, what mattered to them. Right now, I’m exhilarated, I’m honoured and looking forward to what I believe will be rewarding, as well as an important job.

“I’m looking forward to learning what I don’t yet know in order to do this job really well,” Beddows added.

“I’ve received the public’s trust and now I have to prove that I’m worthy of it, but I have to do it every single day when once I hold office. Let’s remember that Mr. Lojko continues to be the mayor and he’s got that burden right now.”

Beddows, a 30-year military veteran, ran on a campaign of promising to bring greater transparency and accountability to the mayor’s seat.

He has been critical of the town’s current administration, saying the town’s finances have been mismanaged.

“I think my commitment to transparency [resonated with the public],” said Beddows. “People gloss over the fact that transparency really, really matters. Pushing out communication and active communication is absolutely essential, and my commitment to being as transparent as possible and as available as possible really mattered, [as did] my commitment to do my best to manage the town’s budget to deliver services as affordably as possible.”

Beddows started his night at the Gananoque Emergency Services building, along with council hopefuls Vicki Leaky, Marion Sprenger, and Katherine Christensen, sitting and awaiting the outcome of the election. Beddows and his family then went to the Old English Pub for some celebratory wine.

Leaky won her bid for councillor, so too did Anne-Marie Koiner, Colin Brown, and Patrick Kirkby.

David Osmond and Matt Harper, the only two current councillors seeking re-election, earned another term. Osmond collected the second-most votes, with 1,174, while Harper received the sixth most, with 1,032 votes.

In total, there were nine people vying for six councillor seats.

Sprenger, with 904 votes, and Bruce Burt, with 708 votes, did not receive enough votes to win a seat, nor did Christensen at 982.

Leaky led the way with 1,305 votes, Koiner was third with 1,113, Brown, the nephew of the late MP Gord Brown, was fourth with 1,081, Kirkby was next with 1,074.

(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

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