Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
12:34 PM EDT
2014-06-12 at 23:16

Convincing victory

Bill Mauro hugs a supporter after winning Thunder Bay-Atikokan.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Bill Mauro hugs a supporter after winning Thunder Bay-Atikokan.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Bill Mauro says his campaign is proof that nice guys can still finish first.

Nearly doubling the votes of his next opponent, NDP candidate Mary Kozorys, the Liberal incumbent is heading back to Queen's Park as MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan.

"I think that the night's result is absolutely a validation that good people and good teams, good groups can still finish first," he told a somewhat rowdy group of around 60 supporters at the Davinci Centre Thursday night after being declared.

The landslide victory is a significant improvement over Mauro’s previous two election victories. In 2011 only 500 votes separated him from his NDP rival Kozorys.

Meanwhile, in 2007 only 50 votes came between him and then NDP candidates John Rafferty.

Mauro’s 2014 election victory more closely resembles his 2003 showing, which saw him win a landslide victory over Rafferty.

While some predicted a tight race, Mauro (15,177) won more votes than Kozorys (8,072) and third-place Progressive Conservative candidate Harold Wilson (3,776) combined.

Mauro said he couldn't explain the vote margin this time around except that maybe the voters are starting to understand him better.

"I've told people all along I'd rather be respected than liked in this work and sometimes I think it takes awhile for people to figure you out," he said. "You know, I'm not always telling people what they want to hear I'm just simply focused on results for the riding."

Mauro campaigned hard on his track record as MPP over the past decade saying that the Liberals, with long-time MPP Michael Gravelle in Thunder Bay-Superior North, have made the region better.

"I'm not an ideologue, I'm a pragmatist. We're helping, we're helping everyone in this town and it feels good."

As for his opponents, Mauro only said that he might have some words for one candidate in particular over the coming weeks. During his otherwise upbeat speech where he thanked supporters his campaign team and long-time constituency staff, Mauro told the room that lines had been crossed during the campaign.

No matter how desperate a campaign is, people shouldn't mess with another candidate's family name. 

"Some of what was done would have made Machiavelli blush," he said. 

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing before the election was called, Mauro said he's hoping to get back into cabinet no matter where Premier Kathleen Wynne decides he fits best.

Kozorys said right from the beginning of the campaign she knew voter turnout was going to be an issue.

“People said they were simply disenchanted and disenfranchised with Ontario politics and they weren’t going out to vote,” she said. “I think this has really affected us this evening. People that had even been hard-core supporters said they weren’t going out to vote.”

The Liberals spent much of the final days of the campaign attempting to convince voters that a vote for the NDP was a vote for the PCs, an approach that Kozorys said took a toll on her party’s numbers.

Meanwhile, Wilson said he was not expecting to see the Liberal forming a majority government.

He believes the local results were largely dictated by the party campaigns on a provincial level, but that he is hopeful there will be strong representation for the region.

“The voters are very forgiving…and that does surprise me,” Wilson said. “We’ll just have to make sure Northwestern Ontario does have a voice. I think that’s the thing we’ve lacked and I’d like to see going forward.”

Wilson admitted he was “disappointed” by the decision of PC Leader Tim Hudak to not visit Northern ridings but said he doesn’t believe it impacted the results.

Taking the nomination for the PCs was a difficult task in a riding that, in recent history, has been pretty left leaning.

He had no false impressions about the challenges that would be encountered.

“Everybody knew going in that it was going to be a very difficult role,” Wilson said.

Green Party candidate John Northey took fourth with 964 votes. Libertarian Joe Talarico took 546 votes while the Northern Ontario Heritage Party's Ed Deibel had 131.

-- with files from Matt Vis


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captain says:
I watched this guy on the debates on TBT and Shaw.

I think this man is impressive. I never once got the impression that what he was saying was fluff. I did not agree with every single point but I was convinced he believed in what he was saying and not just shovelling words at us as some of the other candidates were.

I sense a quiet calm fighter who by all accounts has had remarkable success in his riding. I am not surprised by the results.

I wish him further good luck. I think his riding is fortunate to have him for another four years.
6/15/2014 5:16:53 PM
hotchoc says:
comments like that one above by commonsense are amusing to me.
In terms of investments I would argue that the Liberals have invested heavily in health. There are a 1000 manufacturing jobs at Bombardier. Many new buildings. This posting has so many glaring holes in it as to make it irrelevant.

I do not feel compelled to defend the liberal record but after reading thousands of posts these past few years it is clear that those who criticized their every move are in the minority in this region.

They both not only won, they won big. Obviously the opinions of those who find fault with everything are not reflective of the majority.

Maybe now these arm chair quarterbacks can find a new place to vent their anger.
6/15/2014 8:29:00 AM
S Duncan says:
but its all done with borrowed money.

the Liberals won big, correct. Its not hard to do if you think about it. There is 1.3 million public service union employees in On. They got to vote for their own entitlements and raises. You can probably assure yourself that their spouses voted for the same gravy train.

theres 2.6 million votes right there. then when you factor the media and the campaign of fear against the PCs, it starts to add up.

people whined and complained while the media trumpeted their claims that Hudaks math didn't add up...

..but did that same media and liberal whiners actually apply that math to Wynnes budget?

No, of course not!

Now, the bright spot is that Wynnes gov will have to do the same hatchet job Hudak planned for and actually had the honesty to tell Ontario.

Wynne didn't have the guts to tell people the truth. Now, those cuts will occur. Jobs will be eliminated. The debt must be stopped.

and then you will really hear the crying Libs will whine for years
6/17/2014 2:48:16 PM
unknowncronik says:
and now the peeps are ready to represent, the haters will be out degrading them soon...

u all get a vote, but many seem to chose NOT to vote & just complain instead.

this town thinks the Tim Horton talk as the truth ...
6/15/2014 6:21:06 AM
Commonsense says:
The Liberal incumbents had the advantage of deep taxpayer pockets to finance their win.
How long can they keep spending, without a plan to reduce the staggering debt they're creating?
Ontario is racking up almost a BILLION a month in debt, everything we got was done with borrowed money.
Gov't can't keep doling out money for "Infrastructure projects" to create jobs.
We need real jobs, in manufacturing and resource extraction and processing.
Also, we need investment in Health care, and affordable housing.
We'll watch with interest what the Liberal priorities will be.
6/13/2014 11:38:30 PM
opinions2014 says:
A big congratulations to the Liberals. Both Candidates ran their campaigns in a decent manner. I believe that Mauro and Gravelle have brought a lot of good for Northern Ontario, so im not going to mudsling at these guys. They have fought hard for NorthWest Ontario, even though Southern Ontario get a lot of support. These Candidates faced people face to face during their campaigns unlike others who did their campaign behind their computers and facebook. Good job guys and to the classy ladies who also ran, minus one non classy individual.
6/13/2014 10:49:10 AM
Arch Stanton says:
Another 4 years of waste and scandals...

(The problem is that Liberals eventually always run out of other people's money!)
6/13/2014 10:32:01 AM
Tachyion says:
WANTS will take preference over NEEDS as the province sinks deeper into debt, to keep the populace happy. Governments do not have MONEY and they do not CREATE jobs that can actually improve the economy.
6/13/2014 10:46:45 AM
mikethunderbay says:
I'll start with this. It is very strange to see the NDP candidate continue to mislead people even after the election. She claims voter turnout was an issue that affected her result when in fact it looks like voter turnout in Tbay-Atikokan will be slightly higher than it was in 2011, so she can sell claim to someone else.
I'm thrilled with the result both locally and provincially but I'm going to stick to the local MPP Bill Mauro. If you were to read the comments section on this site throughout the year on provincial issues you would think Bill Mauro didn't have a chance in this election, it must be tough for all the misinformed, angry, and negative people who comment here (not all but certainly most) to realize they are not affecting anyones opinion and do not have influence. People are paying attention, that means you lose.....everytime.
6/13/2014 9:10:12 AM
jonthunder says:
Congratulations to Mr. Mauro; he ran an excellent and decent campaign. The same cannot be said for one or two others.
6/13/2014 7:18:18 AM
j_northey says:
A fun & challenging campaign. I was hoping for more votes but I suspect many shifted to the Liberals at the last moment to ensure the PC's didn't win (encountered a few people debating that). Still, more than doubled the Green vote from last time on a budget that was less than 2% of Mr. Mauro's campaign budget so I think that is fairly impressive. Hopefully a better result next time.

Thanks to all who went out and voted, and congrats to Bill on his win - I know he fought hard for it.
6/13/2014 1:55:33 AM
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