Maggie Burton of Brigus and Harbour Grace's Olympic hero Jamie Korab both ran successful election campaigns and had strong results to show for it. Burton, who ran for councillor at large, received the most votes (20,623) out of 12 candidates looking to fill four seats.
“I'm really happy to know that the community is behind both me and my policies, and I think that people really want to hear detailed ideas about what candidates want to do,” she told the Compass last week.
In Ward 3, Korab achieved a landslide victory, receiving 63 per cent of all votes in his ward. He learned the good news at home on election night surrounded by family and friends.
“One of my campaign guys was on the computer — kept on refreshing and refreshing,” he said, alluding to the wait for final results that went on for hours. “Then the moment came and we'd seen it flash up with the 5,000 votes and (63) per cent.
“The place went up. Everyone cheered. It was pretty cool, knowing all that hard work over the last four months had paid off."
Korab, a real estate agent best known in Newfoundland and Labrador for helping Brad Gushue's curling team win Olympic gold in 2006, has given thought to politics in the past. When Jerome Kennedy resigned as an MHA for Carbonear-Harbour Grace, Korab gave serious consideration to seeking the Liberal nomination, but ultimately withdrew before a nomination vote was held.
“I stepped away from that, and I kind of kept my ears and eyes open,” he said. “Two years ago, in the provincial election, my daughter was only two at the time, so I never put any serious thought whatsoever in (running) provincially. But I knew at some point I was going to make a run at something.
“I try to live my life with more of a ‘no regrets’ policy, and I didn't want to be 60 or 70 years old and say, ‘Well, I should have run.’”
He's become heavily involved in his community in the Cowan Heights area and does a variety of volunteer work. With his daughter getting a bit older and local ward councillor Bruce Tilley deciding to retire, Korab felt ready to give it a go.
“I've lived in St. John's now since 1999, and it's where I've called home since then. I figured at the municipal level, it's great to get in at the ground level and get more involved.”
A leadership coach with a young family, Burton is heavily involved in the non-profit and cultural sectors and also has considerable musical talents.
She first picked up the violin as a student with Yvonne Stellisano at All Hallows Elementary in North River and took lessons locally with Andrew Mercer and Rendell Mercer right up until the moment she left home for university. She's now a member of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.
Burton has always been interested in taking on leadership roles, and having a young family in the city, she knew there was a need for new perspectives on council.
“I have a lot of unique experiences, and they can be useful in going forward in our city.”
As a councillor entering her first term, Burton is eager to tackle the next municipal plan for the city.
“I also just want to see council as a whole developing a shared vision for the city that extends beyond the next four years.”
She also credits her experience growing up in Conception Bay North for helping her get to where she is today.
“I'd like to thank people in Brigus, Bay Roberts and the communities I grew up in for really fostering a love of this province in me that allows me to be an effective politician.”
As for Korab's plans, he's ready to represent residents in his ward. He learned a lot about their issues while campaigning in the area and hopes to address traffic calming and taxation.
The reaction back home to his election win was still getting processed as of late last week. In the days following his victory, Korab was flooded with messages congratulating him on the win.
“The support has been very amazing and very humbling, I have to say.”