Reg Helwer has reclaimed his seat as MLA for Brandon West. The Progressive Conservative incumbent won 4,307 votes, beating out his closest challenger NDP candidate Nick Brown, who secured 1,747 votes.
Green party candidate Robert Brown received 744 votes and Liberal candidate Sunday Frangi collecting the remaining 564 votes.
"I’m very happy, our team worked very hard and it was successful in Brandon West. … I’m very honoured that Brandon West voters elected me again to represent them," Helwer told The Brandon Sun on Tuesday night. "The other candidates ran a very clean and polite campaign, so that’s just a bonus."
Brandon West lost territory in the north to Spruce Woods in electoral-division redistribution in 2018. The section on Brandon’s North Hill, north of the Assiniboine River, was added to the more rural constituency.
Helwer said it’s hard to say if the change made a difference in results.
"It’s a thrill to represent any part of Brandon, and we hope to keep other colleagues there as well," Helwer said.
Constituents Helwer spoke with told him they were happy with what the PCs were doing while in government, he said, and that they wanted it to continue. As for immediate plans, Helwer said the premier-elect will have decide what roles people will take and what comes next.
"In the past, the time I’ve spent on treasure board and the economic development committee in cabinet, there were some very good plans moving forward," Helwer said. "As we see in Manitoba, we’re leading the country in private sector investments, so we plan to continue that."
NDP candidate Brown said he was "super proud" of the work that his team has done, and that he’s learned a lot from his first run in a provincial election. "I heard a lot of stories of people struggling under this government. I know personally that tomorrow I turn around and go back to my minimum wage job, where I can’t afford rent without working three jobs because minimum wage has gone up less than the rate of inflation every year for the last three years," Brown said.
"You can be sure that I’ll be back … I think we did everything right, there’s nothing I would significantly change, just do more."
Brown said he hopes the MLAs elected in Westman will step up to represent its constituents.
"I would like to see Westman MLAs in cabinet having a voice for Brandon. As our second-largest city in Manitoba I’m disappointed that in the last three years we haven’t seen that voice representing us," Brown said. "The MLAs elected … don’t just represent the people who voted for them, they represent all of us, and I think they should keep that in consideration when they’re speaking to the legislature on behalf of their constituents."
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