NDP take Niagara Falls riding
FILE PHOTO NDP Wayne Gates
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- The NDP's Wayne Gates is Niagara Falls' next MPP.
For the first time in 19 years, the provincial riding has gone orange.
The riding, which also includes Fort Erie and Niagara-on-the-Lake, chose the Niagara Falls city councillor to represent them at Queen's Park.
Gates will replace former Liberal MPP Kim Craitor, who was the riding's representative from 2003 to 2013, before abruptly resigning in September.
Gates defeated Progressive Conservative candidate Bart Maves, Liberal candidate Joyce Morocco, Green Party candidate Clarke Bitter and four others.
Polls closed at 9 p.m. and just after 11 p.m., Gates was introduced to a crowd of more than 300 people at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls, who gathered to congratulate him.
"You know me. What you see is what you get - moustache and all," Gates said to loud cheers.
He said the days of the Toronto agenda forcing its way into the Niagara Falls riding is over.
"I will work for you," Gates said.
As of press time, Gates had 14,526 of the votes (39.4%), Maves had 13,564 (36.8%), Morocco had 7,143 (19.4%) and Bitter had 1,006 (2.7%)
Gates lives in Niagara Falls and is married with three children and five grandchildren. All make their home in the Niagara region.
He was elected to Niagara Falls city council in 2010 and is president of Unifor Local 199.
The last time a New Democrat was elected in Niagara Falls was in 1990 when Margaret Harrington was elected MPP under Bob Rae’s NDP government.
Harrington lost her seat in 1995 to Maves, who then lost his seat to Craitor in 2003.