Winnipeg’s next mayor is a former pastor who is thought by a few of his closest associates and household as a real, affected person man — who additionally obtained very conversant in the penalty field whereas taking part in junior hockey as a teen.
Scott Kitching has identified Scott Gilllingham, who was elected as Winnipeg’s new mayor on Wednesday evening, since he was six years previous and dwelling within the southern Manitoba city of Carman, the place Gillingham was born.
Kitching stated whereas Gillingham is identified for his quiet manner, “that wasn’t the Scott you noticed on the hockey rink.”
“He wasn’t a goon, however he definitely racked up plenty of penalties, which is reverse to what you see now as a former minister and one of the crucial variety, mild folks you see,” stated Kitching.
“He wasn’t afraid to muck it up within the corners.”
Gillingham narrowly defeated his closest rival, Glen Murray, and 9 different contenders in Wednesday’s mayoral race. Gillingham — who had served two phrases as a metropolis councillor and was chair of metropolis council’s finance committee — positioned himself within the race because the fiscally accountable selection.
“Holy smokes, what an evening,” Gillingham advised a cheering crowd as he started his victory speech Wednesday night.
“I need to be clear to everybody who voted for me and everybody who didn’t, that I intend to serve regardless. I did not run to accept established order, I didn’t run to defend established order, I ran as a result of I consider Winnipeg can strive tougher and govern smarter and can ship quicker.”
Gillingham, who was first elected to metropolis council in 2014 and gained the St. James seat once more in 2018, was a longtime member of outgoing Mayor Brian Bowman’s interior circle as a part of his govt coverage committee. Prior to that he spent as a 22 years as a Pentecostal pastor.
Before getting into civic politics, her ran provincially in 2011 in St. James for the Progressive Conservatives, however misplaced to the NDP’s Deanne Crothers.
Gillingham additionally briefly flirted with working for management of Manitoba Tories in 2021.
Gillingham resigned from Winnipeg metropolis council’s govt coverage committee, in addition to his job as council’s finance chair, in April, forward of what he stated was a “very probably” run for the mayor’s seat.
Pledged to raise property taxes
He kicked off his marketing campaign in May, with a pledge to construct infrastructure and restore town’s city cover.
“Too a lot of our political historical past has been about making large guarantees and setting large targets and making large bulletins, with out first constructing the energy to ship these guarantees,” Gillingham advised the gang in May.
Over the next 5 months, he advised Winnipeggers he would raise property taxes by by 3.5 per cent next yr and enhance frontage levies by $1.50 per foot, which might raise the equal of one other 2.6 per cent property tax hike.
He additionally promised to fast-track the widening of Kenaston Boulevard, appoint himself to Winnipeg’s police board to enhance oversight and ship outreach employees as a substitute of police to low-risk psychological well being calls.
He was endorsed by three councillors, all of whom had been re-elected: Markus Chambers (St. Norbert-Seine River), Janice Lukes (Waverley West) and Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan).
Gillingham is the daddy of two kids, together with a 26-year-old daughter who describes her dad because the “most selfless individual” she is aware of.
But he would not like putting up the lights on the Christmas tree, says Hannah Gillingham.
While he is a affected person father and loves Christmas, that does not prolong to putting the lights on the tree, she stated.
“It is one thing he might do with out,” she stated. “He form of turns into the Grinch then.”
He’s additionally a longtime lover of jazz music, and that is what he performed on his means to the victory occasion, stated Hannah — at which level his destiny was up within the air.
The leads to the shut race — which Gillingham gained with 27.5 per cent of the vote over Murray’s 25.3 per cent — weren’t clear till the ultimate polls had reported, round 10 p.m.
“Tensions had been a little bit excessive, and the discuss radio was off and the jazz was bumping within the automobile,” stated Hannah.
During his victory speech, Gillingham took the time to thank his 90-year-old grandfather, who was on the occasion on the Clarion Hotel Wednesday evening, and stood alongside Gillingham all through your complete marketing campaign.
Gordon Alder helped his grandson by putting collectively indicators — one thing he stated he has finished each time Gillingham has thrown his hat into the political ring.
“I by no means ever anticipated to have my grandson be the mayor of Winnipeg,” stated Alder.