Pasternak wins a 12-way race

Ward 10's new rep fought off several strong challengers

Long after the mayoralty race had been decided the poll numbers continued to roll in for Ward 10.

The uncertainty of the race was to be expected with a dozen candidates on the ballot following the retirement of long time councillor Mike Feldman.

When the polls closed at 8 p.m. it became clear the race belonged to either school trustee James Pasternak, Feldman’s executive assistant Nancy Oomen, or Brian Shifman. But with voting percentages so close and the lead slipping from one candidate to the other, it was impossible to predict a winner. When the final poll came in, over an hour after voting ended on election night, Pasternak was confirmed as the new councillor taking 19 percent of the vote, with Oomen in close second carrying almost 17 percent, and Shifman in third place with 15 percent.

Pasternak’s post election celebration had a real party atmosphere as supporters and family cheered him on.

“He was an excellent school board trustee,” said Aaron Blumenfeld, one of Pasternak’s supporters. “He worked very hard for people, was very responsive, and he’ll be the same thing as a councillor.”

Pasternak spoke about introducing ward forums to enable his constituents to feel connected to city hall and decision-making. But he also took time to pay his dues to his predecessor.

“I commend Mike Feldman for 18 years of service,” Pasternak said. “He was very supportive, and I will look to his counsel in the coming months.”

Oomen accepted her defeat with sincere acknowledgment of everyone in her campaign who worked hard to help her rally support.

“I feel really good about all the people who are here — the friends, the neighbours, people that I’ve known for years,” she said. “I feel good about the fact that we ran a clean race, it’s very important to me.”

Shifman’s campaign party at Bagel World, on Wilson Avenue just west of Bathurst Street, was full of the sense of a fight well-fought, and graciously lost. The room erupted in cheers as Shifman walked in, and the sense of pride among his supporters, even in the face of defeat, was almost palpable.

There was an obvious sense of disappointment, summed up by Shifman’s brother Jordan Shifman.

“Brian was the best candidate here,” he said. “He deserved to win. He definitely ran the best campaign, the cleanest campaign compared to what was out there, and I’m disappointed, that’s all.”

Despite the loss, the mood was upbeat as Shifman detailed all that he felt they had done right in the campaign.

“I’m humbled and grateful,” he said. “I think we ran the campaign we wanted to run. We’ve been complimented across Toronto by residents, political experts, and the media. Victory is what you define it. It’s not so much that we lost this campaign, but that we ran out of time.”

About this article:

By: Gesilayefa Azorbo
Posted: Oct 28 2010 6:23 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto