Carbonear’s newest Mayor George Butt Jr. was greeted with applause from a group of some 50 people tonight, Feb. 18, at the Carbonear Legion after a landslide victory over fellow candidate Ches Ash.
The final tally was 1,348 to 458.
The guests and supporters of Butt Jr. had a lot to celebrate. Not only was it his victory celebration, but his wife Karen was celebrating her birthday.
“We have two celebrations tonight,” Butt Jr. told the crowd. “Me winning the mayor’s race, and (my) wife’s birthday is tonight.”
Butt Jr., who recently left his seat as acting mayor of the town to seek the top elected post, was overjoyed with the response and support he received from the voters of the town.
“That’s twice the residents of Carbonear have given me such a good mandate in five months, so I appreciate all the support,” he explained. “And I will do my best to do my part.”
Some of those in attendance included town office staff, friends, family, MHA and former mayor Sam Slade, Deputy Mayor Frank Butt and Coun. Bill Bowman.
Butt Jr. said he was happy to see Butt and Bowman in attendance to support him during his victory, and looks forward to working with them and other members of council for the remainder of the term.
“We have a good council in place, and we’ll have another councillor in a month. So we’ll have a full council by the end of March,” Butt Jr. said. “Then we get back on track and move the town forward.”
When asked what his first official act as mayor would be, he explained he was considering taking a look at the committees that are in place. He said they were the decision of the past mayor and it’s something he will look at changing up.
Butt Jr. has been a council member for 22 years. In that time he served time as mayor, deputy mayor and councillor.
“This will give me 26 years,” he said. “I got the experience, I’m a team player and I can work with the council that’s in place now.”
Butt Jr. wanted there to be a double celebration with his wife because he considers her his biggest supporter.
“I can’t do this without the support of family, and Karen has been behind me 100 per cent many times,” he stated. “There are times I get pretty discouraged and tired, and want to give up. She’ll keep me going.”
Karen added she really enjoyed campaigning and doing events with him.
“I love going around everywhere and doing everything,” she said.
Butt Jr. spoke to the crowd, and thanked them for being in attendance, and for the support. The group erupted in cheers when he concluded. A lineup of people awaited him so they could shake his hand, give him a hug or just say congratulations.
Meanwhile, Ash heard the results start to come in at the Knights of Columbus immediately after the polls closed. He left and headed home when he saw the direction the votes were heading..
“I’m a bit bruised,” he told The Compass at his home in Crocker’s Cove with his wife by his side following the results. “But I wish George the best of luck with everything.”
Ash didn’t think the results were going to be so far apart, but said “that’s politics.”
He recognized Butt Jr. for a good campaign and also posted congratulations to him on his twitter account.
“Mr. George Butt has won a resounding victory. I congratulate him wish him well I’m sure he will prove to be an effective Mayor for our town,” the post read.
Ash declined any further comment at this time.