Green Party candidate Megan Mitton told a roomful of supporters in Sackville Monday night that she would probably cry during her victory speech.
“So get ready for some tears,” she warned just minutes after Elections New Brunswick officially declared her elected in Memramcook-Tantramar with a razor thin majority of 11 votes over her Liberal opponent Bernard LeBlanc.
The final count was 3,148 for Mitton and 3,137 for LeBlanc. PC candidate Etienne Gaudet came third with 1,518 votes while Hélène Boudreau of the NDP received 410.
For most of the evening, Mitton, who is a Sackville Town Councillor, led with a seemingly comfortable margin of more than 300 votes until a later poll result suddenly cut her lead to only 11.
Mitton and her supporters at the Sackville Commons waited for more than an hour as her victory seemed to hang in the balance with one more poll to come. When Elections N.B. finally placed a capital “E” beside her name, the room erupted in cheers — and tears.
“Wow, that was a stressful few hours,” Mitton said in her victory speech. “The last few days, I’ve been going around saying every vote is going to count…it’s going to be close,” she added. “I’m an honest politician, I meant it!”
Mitton’s speech was interrupted by a congratulatory phone call from Green Party leader David Coon who was re-elected in Fredericton South while a third Green candidate, Kevin Arseneau, also won the riding of Kent North.
“David, I can’t wait to join you in Fredericton, but I’m at the mike right now giving a speech, so I’m going to have to call you back,” Mitton said to cheers and laughter.
Voters ‘send a message’
“These results send a strong message to our leaders that we care about democracy,” Mitton said as she continued her victory speech. “We care about our local economy, we care about our forests, our seniors, our youth and our future.”
She thanked her family and supporters before mentioning her father who died last year.
“My Dad’s not here, but he inspired me to do this,” she said as she fought back tears.
“I grew up in a Liberal household, he once ran for the Liberals for MLA and we always talked about politics,” Mitton said, adding that when she told him she was running in the 2014 provincial election, he asked for which party.
“I said, ‘the Greens’ and he went, ‘oh really, but don’t you want to win?'”
Mitton gave special thanks to Sabine Dietz who served as her campaign manager.
“I remember meeting here last November and three people showed up, Sabine and I were among the three,” she said. “And now look, the room is full.”
Mitton said winning the riding involved canvassing door-to-door, dawn-to-dusk, in rainstorms and a heat wave while battling mosquitoes.
“It was a lot of hard work, but it was fun,” she said.
Note: Since Mitton won by fewer than 25 votes, there will be a recount to confirm the results.
To listen to Megan Mitton’s victory speech, click on the media player below.