James Baker is all smiles after hearing the results of the election in Lake Country

ELECTION: 2014: Baker wins Lake Country mayor’s race

District of Lake Country: James Baker gets in over Jayson McCarthy. Geier, Dickie, Gambell, Scarrow, Ireland, Vader also in on council

James Baker says he’s ready to lead Lake Country council for the next four years.

Baker was re-elected as Lake Country mayor on Saturday night, winning a closely contested race for mayor by 225 votes over businessman Jayson McCarthy.

It will be Baker’s fourth term as Lake Country mayor after he garnered 1,215 votes to McCarthy’s 990.

“I’m really, really pleased,” said Baker. “I’m looking forward to the next four years it will be interesting to see what we can accomplish. I was nervous coming into election day. Jayson was a very good candidate. We had similar platforms. I think I have made connections over the past nine years where I am able to collaborate with higher levels of government. We have had considerable success in partnerships.”

McCarthy, a former councillor who came up short to earn the mayor’s chair for the second straight election, said voter turnout was down from past years and that wasn’t good for his hopes.

“The turnout is significantly lower than three years ago,” said McCarthy. “That’s disappointing to me and surprising. I was thinking there seemed to be a little bit more desire for change in the community than obviously there was.”

In the race for council positions, incumbent Penny Gambell and former councillor Bill Scarrow topped the polls for the two councillor-at-large positions in Lake Country.

Gambell garnered more votes than any other councillor candidate with 1,331 while Scarrow’s 920 earned him his seat on council back. Others that ran for at-large candidates were Don Rae (787 votes), Richard Issler (494) and Arlene Brenner (466).

In the race for ward seats two incumbents earned their spots while one fell to a challenger. The Winfield election saw Rob Geier get re-elected with 783 votes to challenger Randy Rose who earned 248 votes.

In Okanagan Centre, Blair Ireland upset incumbent Lisa Cameron by a 344-282 margin, while in Oyama, Owen Dickie won a second term with 278 votes to challenger Keli Westgate’s 127 votes.

Matt Vader is also new on council after being acclaimed in the ward of Carr’s Landing.

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