In a result that some may have considered a surprise, Pierre Brianceau handily defeated opponents Barb Tocher and Lou Maieron to claim the Wellington County council Ward 9 seat.
The former school board trustee garnered 2,025 votes (or 52% of the total cast for the position), whereas Tocher received 1,376 votes (35%) and Maieron received 503 (13%).
“It turned out exactly as I had hoped,” an elated Brianceau told the Advertiser shortly after the results were announced on Oct. 27 at the Erin municipal office south of Hillsburgh.
He attributed his victory to his “great team” as well as his hard work during the campaign – including personally visiting 450 homes in the week leading up to election day.
Brianceau, who was heavily involved in bringing the Centre 2000 facility to the municipality, said he had strong motivation for returning to the public spotlight.
“I felt all the things that I had worked on (in the past) fell into disarray and I needed to get back to them before there was nothing to rescue,” he said.
Brianceau expressed an interest in improving rural transportation, notably for seniors and youths, and obtaining high speed Internet for the entire county.
“My number one job is to rebuild all the burned bridges at the county,” Brianceau said, noting it requires nine county council votes to approve anything.
Maieron, who is finishing the current term as Erin’s mayor, said he is “a little disappointed” he was not successful, noting he has served three terms at the upper tier.
He told the Advertiser he expected a two-way race between himself and Brianceau.
“I was a little surprised I finished third, but the press has done a real good job of making me look … not positive, anyways,” said Maieron. “I guess all the negative press influenced voters.”
“In a way I’m very relieved,” he said of the election outcome. “But … a lot of experience and knowledge has been lost.”
He concluded, “I wish the town and the new councillors the best.”
Tocher was not available for comment by press time.