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'You sent a very big message': Brenda Locke wins Surrey mayor's race


The City of Surrey will have a new mayor for the next four years.

The CTV News Decision Desk has declared that Brenda Locke will win the race for the city's top job. With more than 90 per cent of the city's polls reporting, she was leading by roughly 1,600 votes over her nearest challenger, incumbent Mayor Doug McCallum.

Former Liberal MLA and MP Gordie Hogg was third, while NDP MLA and former MP Jinny Sims, and Liberal MP Sukh Dhaliwal – two big-name candidates who entered the race against McCallum – were in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

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After a tumultuous four-year term that saw several councillors – including Locke – leave his Safe Surrey Coalition, McCallum was the focal point of the mayoral campaign.

Speaking to supporters after she learned the news, Locke mentioned McCallum by name.

"Surrey, you sure did have something to say – and you said it tonight," Locke told the cheering crowd.

"You sent a very big message to Doug, to his crew, to his land speculators, to his buddies, to the political establishment in Surrey."


Locke's biggest campaign promise was to reverse the city's transition to a municipal police force.

Creating the Surrey Police Service was McCallum's biggest campaign promise from the 2018 election. The SPS has been deploying officers alongside the Surrey RCMP for nearly a year.

During her victory speech, Locke reiterated her policing promise.

"First of all, we need to keep the Surrey RCMP right here in Surrey," she said, to loud applause.

In an interview with CTV News after her speech, Locke provided few details on how the policing promise would be implemented.

She did say she'd contact the provincial Solicitor General to say that the city would not be continuing the police transition process.

Asked for a response to Locke's comments on Surrey's policing future, SPS spokesperson Ian MacDonald told CTV News the department would "stay away from politics tonight."

MacDonald added that the service currently has 350 police and civilian employees, including just under 300 police officers.


Pollster Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., said Locke's position as former member of McCallum's party helped her make a compelling case that the incumbent's leadership style wasn't working.

"It was a very tight race from the get-go, we knew it was going to be close," Canseco said.

"I think she connected very well," he added. "And the results were certainly on her side tonight."


Early returns for the city council election showed significant turnover as well.

As of 9:30 p.m., the CTV News Decision Desk had declared that Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis and Safe Surrey Coalition Councillor Doug Elford would be re-elected.

Incumbent Safe Surrey Councillor Mandeep Nagra was leading, but had not yet been declared victorious.

CTV News has also declared Surrey First council candidate Mike Bose and Surrey Connect candidates Harry Bains, Gordon Hepner, Rob Stutt and Pardeep Kooner elected.

Locke was Surrey Connect's mayoral candidate, meaning she will have the five votes needed for a majority when the new council convenes.


About 30 minutes after Locke spoke to her supporters, McCallum made a brief concession speech.

"The people have spoken, and that's what elections are all about," the outgoing mayor said.

He added that he had been proud to serve Surrey as mayor for several terms, and mused that it may be time for him to "put (his) feet up." 

During the campaign, McCallum's opponents slammed his proposal to build a 60,000-seat stadium in the city, calling it a "fantasy." Locke also promised to reverse McCallum's signature proposal from the last election: replacing the RCMP with a municipal police force. 

McCallum also faced criticism for his public mischief charge, the trial for which is scheduled to begin Oct. 31. 

Opposition to the incumbent was widely seen as the catalyst for several big-name candidates getting into the race, including Locke, Dhaliwal, Sims and Hogg.

To follow election results, tune in to CTV News Vancouver for live, commercial-free and up-to-the-minute coverage. Results will also be posted regularly online. Top Stories

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