Anton makes political comeback in Vancouver-Fraserview

She failed at becoming mayor of Vancouver. She failed to win the Liberal nomination in Vancouver-Quilchena. But former Vancouver city councillor Suzanne Anton's political career is back on track. She won the Vancouver-Fraserview riding, which has been a Liberal stronghold since 2001, defeating NDP candidate Gabriel Yiu by a few hundred votes. (The Liberals have won the riding three times since 2001, with Ken Johnston, Wally Oppal and Kash Heed taking the party to victory.)

The counts were still coming in at 11 p.m., but Anton was declared a winner by just prior to 11 p.m. due to her 500-vote lead on Yiu, her closest competitor. Anton, who looked nervous all night as the results came in, still found the results hard to believe.

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"I'm hoping to see my name at the top of the list at the end of this night," said Anton, who only arrived at her Fraserview Hall headquarters after 9:30 p.m..

At 11:30, she won 6,865 votes to Yiu's 6,380 and Green Party candidate Stuart MacKinnon's 821.

A West Side resident, Anton parachuted into the predominantly Asian riding after losing the nomination bid to Andrew Wilkinson in Vancouver-Quilchena (who won his riding by a landslide). Anton said she campaigned on one main issue: the economy.

"People obviously believe in our economic message," she said. "People are very interested in taxes, a strong economy, seniors issues_ One of the issues I never heard when I was campaigning was about the pipeline."

She credits the Liberals' surprising win, which pollsters and major media outlets predicted the party would lose, with "all the good candidates around the province."

Anton, a lawyer, had nine years of service in Vancouver as a councillor and park board member and has campaigned in every riding of the city. She said she had no concerns about running in Vancouver-Fraserview after losing the bid in Vancouver-Quilchena.

"I always loved campaigning and I loved campaigning in this riding," she said. "This has been the most friendly riding I've ever campaigned in."

Anton was thrilled to see her former council colleague Sam Sullivan win his Vancouver-False Creek riding

Retired Liberal MP Herb Dhaliwal, who represented the riding at the federal level for 11 years, chaired Anton's campaign and called the Liberal win a "remarkable victory."

"It's a real upset when pollsters and major media outlets predicted an NDP victory," he said. "This is a major upset_ Adrian Dix played it too safe and didn't take any risks. He only started campaigning in the last two weeks."

fhughes@vancourier.com

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