By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — Campaign workers, supporters and family members crowded into Greg Brkich’s campaign office on Washington Avenue on Monday night as the election results began pouring in.
Amidst the hubbub and chatter, Brkich’s eyes were fixed on the TV set for much of the evening, watching the coverage on CTV.
With close to two decades in provincial politics under his belt, Brkich said he’s always curious about the final results on election night.
“You know everybody that’s running,” he explained, noting that he felt the suspense, waiting for the totals to come in from some of the tighter races.
However, there was little doubt as to how things would play out in Arm River.
Brkich, 57, was elected to a fifth term as the Saskatchewan Party MLA for this area, winning the constituency with 73.3 per cent support.
He received a total of 6,128 votes, according to preliminary results, defeating his nearest competitor by more than 4,700 votes.
“To me, that shows people still have confidence in myself and the government,” he said Monday night.
Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party were returned to office for a third consecutive term, winning 51 out of 61 seats and receiving 62.6 per cent of the popular vote.
The Opposition New Democrats increased their seat count by just one, winning a total of 10 seats, but saw their share of the popular vote drop to 30.4 per cent.
The results were highly reminiscent of the last election — even down to the loss suffered by NDP leader Cam Broten, who came in second place in Saskatoon Westview, just as his predecessor Dwain Lingenfelter had done in Regina Douglas Park in 2011.
Despite both having a full slate, the Green Party and the Liberal Party were again shut out, as were the Progressive Conservatives, the Western Independence Party and all independent candidates.
Brkich, who farms near Bladworth, was first elected in Arm River in 1999, and was re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011. He gave much of the credit for his success to his local team, including business manager Ron Bessey and campaign manager Allen Patkau.
Donna Petit and Lavonne Lyke ran the campaign office in Davidson, while dozens of others contributed by knocking on doors, putting up signs or making phone calls on his behalf.
“I wouldn’t have won it without the team, plain and simple,” said Brkich. “I couldn’t imagine being out there by myself.”
For the full story, including detailed results and an interview with NDP candidate Denise Leduc, please see the April 11 edition of The Davidson Leader.