Joe Mihevc danced his way to an easy victory at a Forest Hill nightclub on Monday night.
The St. Paul’s councillor, who has represented Ward 21 since its inception in 2000, celebrated with hundreds of supporters at Kitch on Geary Avenue after results showed he had taken almost 77 percent of the vote.
Mihevc saw 15,745 votes cast for him. Ted Bustamante, his closest challenger, finished a distant third, with 1,766. Cos Licursi got 1,728 and Rosina Bonavota took 1,223.
“I was surprised by the strong numbers,” Mihevc told the Town Crier. “I feel that it’s a vote of confidence in our community and the work that we have done — not me alone, but what we have done in the community with residents.”
Mihevc cited recent projects such as the Wychwood Barns, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and multiple business and condominium developments that he’s helped negotiate along St. Clair Avenue as key contributors to his easy victory.
“Frankly, right now it’s not much to be proud of, but it soon will be,” he said.
Mihevc admitted the evening was bittersweet, however. He was expecting a dual celebration with Ward 17 candidate Alejandra Bravo, a protégé he helped throughout her campaign, but who lost to incumbent Cesar Palacio by only 453 votes.
On a night when Toronto elected a new mayor, putting an end to the often-divisive Rob Ford era, Mihevc said his first priority now will be establishing civility in council by reaching across the floor to councillors he may not agree with, including new mayor John Tory.
“I congratulate, of course, John Tory on his victory,” he said. “We will have our differences, but there is a more civil way in which we can conduct our disagreements.”
Meanwhile, not far away Ward 15 councillor Josh Colle was relaxing with his family at a Dufferin Street sandwich shop, after cruising to victory.
His 14,733 vote count was good for 75 percent of the vote in a race that saw him challenged by four others. Only second-place finisher Chani Aryeh-Bain, with 12 percent, cracked the 10 percent barrier.
“I’m so pleased that the community is happy everything we’ve accomplished over the last four years,” the incumbent Eglinton-Lawrence councillor said. “It was a great victory, and I’m really proud of my team.”
Among those celebrating with him were his father Mike Colle, who is the Eglinton-Lawrence MPP, and newly elected trustee Jennifer Arp, whose campaign he had supported.
Colle promised not to rest on his laurels, calling the victory “simply a cue” that he has more work to do.
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