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Patricia Ross and newcomer Henry Braun go 1-2 in Abbotsford polls

While Abbotsford voters chose to replace their mayor, they returned all the incumbent members of council.

The one change will be the addition of Henry Braun, who takes the seat vacated by Lynne Harris, who chose not to run again.

Coun. Patricia Ross was again the voters’ favourite. The environmental advocate and chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District topped the polls with 19,710 votes. Her total was approximately double what most of the other elected council members received.

It required almost 10,000 votes to get on council. Moe Gill finished eighth and took the last seat with 9,686 votes.

Braun was an unexpected second to Ross  with 15,649 votes – a tally that she said was a surprising showing for a newcomer.

“I’m thrilled to have Henry on board. He’s a good addition to council,” said Ross.

Braun watched the results come in from the back of Matsqui Centennial Auditorium on Saturday night. He couldn’t see the numbers well, and was surprised when his daughter told him the first few polls showed him running second.

“I told her to just relax, that could change,” he said.

“I was pleasantly surprised – and humbled, actually,” he said.

The local entrepreneur was for many years the president and co-owner of the Abbotsford-based Pacific Northern Rail Contractors Corp, which he sold in 2003.

He ran a comprehensive campaign, announcing his candidacy at a press conference at a Ramada Inn banquet room, laying out his background and ideas on the website henrybraun.ca and on Facebook’s Elect Henry Braun page, and rolling out glossy election material.

Neither he nor the members of his team had worked a campaign before.

“We were all green as grass,” he said.

The lifelong Abbotsford resident also has a record of community service that includes serving on the Abbotsford Police Board, Economic Development Commission and Abbotsford Airport board of directors.

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