Sooke voters decided to stick with the tried and true Saturday, voting incumbent Maja Tait back into the district’s top seat and five councillors back on council.
Tait garnered 2,403 or 72 per cent of ballots cast by Sooke voters and cruised easily into her third term.
“This feels great,” Tait said at her victory party at the Royal Canadian Legion.
“I feel we’re on track. We’ve done a lot of good work, and the last four years were difficult,” she said, referring to the pandemic.
Retired community advocate Mick Rhodes came second with 578 votes, while John Knops, a retired civil servant, placed third with 246.
With only one seat – vacated by Ebony Logins – up for grabs, the five incumbents running for re-election got the thumbs up, with Dana Lajeunesse, Jeff Bateman, Megan McMath, Al Beddows and Tony St-Pierre retaining their seats.
Former councillor Kevin Pearson won the other seat.
Pearson, who lost to Tait by 676 in the 2018 mayor’s race and by three votes in the 2019 byelection that elected Lajeunesse, said he wasn’t “super surprised” by this year’s result.
“People were asking me to run, and it’s always been at the back of my mind to run again,” he said.
“My strength is that I can work with anyone; teamwork will be critical with this council.”
Twenty-three candidates ran for council in Sooke, second to only Victoria for the number of candidates on the South Island, so name recognition was important, Beddows said.
He added that many voters were confused with so many names on the ballot, which helped the incumbents.
Bateman said he was delighted with the election and said Sooke voters are sending a solid group to council chambers.
“I’m quite optimistic for the next four years,” he said.