“Hey, I voted for you.”
The voice wasn’t an immediately familiar one as I was leaving a downtown establishment following lunch Friday with a longtime friend.
I turned around and the voice reintroduced himself. He was someone who worked at the establishment where I had enjoyed my patio lunch, we shook hands, I thanked him and he added: “and my girlfriend voted for you too.”
We laughed that the credit for their votes probably went to a much younger canvass partner who was more aggressive in pigeonholing votes for me in the last week of the election campaign than I could have ever imagined (perhaps there’s a lesson there!).
It has been a quite whirlwind of a week as I accept the verdict of voters to choose the incumbent as MLA for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island and return to my “old life” – starting with going back to work at my company Wednesday morning.
Reconnecting with co-workers and clients.
Returning phone calls and emails from Halifax Citadel-Sable Island supporters.
Working with my campaign team on wrapping up all the loose ends post-election.
Attending two community events I had been involved in held in the constituency (Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame and A Celebration for retiring Mount Saint Vincent University President Ramona Lumpkin).
Re-engaging in some of my community work (Neptune Theatre and Halifax Stanfield International Airport).
Breakfast with my longtime friend Jamie Baillie.
Responding to a couple of media requests.
Working on a plan to thank the campaign team over the summer.
Through it all, the question that keeps coming up is: how are you?
There are plenty of answers I could give to that question.
Am I disappointed that I don’t have a mandate from enough Halifax Citadel-Sable Island voters to get to work on their priorities? Absolutely.
Do I feel like I have let my campaign team down, my supporters down, my party and my leader down for not being more successful in this election? Of course.
But the overarching feeling in my heart now is one of gratitude.
Gratitude for the people who did support me – through their votes, their time and other means.
Gratitude that support for the PC Party is up considerably in this constituency and we have reduced the gap to victory by 50%.
Gratitude for the people who didn’t support me, but respected me enough to tell me why.
Gratitude for a passionate, engaged and committed campaign team – with first time volunteers bringing new energy and skills, combined with those who brought with them the benefit of experience.
Gratitude that my Progressive Conservative Party has come out of this campaign with more support and more seats than at any time since the 2006 election, including seven new MLAs, five female MLAs and three MLAs in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Gratitude for the ongoing love and respect of my family. There’s something to be said about spending Saturday morning walking to the beach with your son, instead of starting another round of door knocking!
What does this all mean for the future?
I’ll have some thoughts on that in a future post.