Simon Gibson is congratulated by his campaign managerBrian Gaudet after being declared the winner in Abbotsford-Mission. / Kevin Mills Photo

Simon Gibson is congratulated by his campaign managerBrian Gaudet after being declared the winner in Abbotsford-Mission. / Kevin Mills Photo

Gibson declared winner in Abbotsford-Mission

Incumbent took an early lead and never looked back

Simon Gibson is returning as MLA for the Abbotsford-Mission riding. The only question now is will he be a member of the government or the opposition.

Gibson was declared the winner early into the evening as he quickly built up a big lead over the NDP’s Andrew Christie and the Green candidate Jennifer Holmes.

Speaking to a group of supporters, Gibson thanked everyone for their faith in him. However he did say it was still going to be a long night.

“Right now, we really can’t tell what the future is going to be for our government, it’s very close but I’m optimistic,” Gibson said about the overall election results that currently has the Liberals and NDP neck and neck.

“I’d prefer to be in government, frankly, opposition is not as rewarding. Having come off four years as a government MLA and looking back on all the contributions that I was able to provide to the riding, on both sides of the river, make me realize I’d rather be a government MLA.”

He said it could be a long night before the final results are known.

As for the local riding, Gibson said he made every effort to represent the entire area.

“I did try to make contacts through the area, right through including McConnell Creek and Lake Errock and Deroche and Dewdney and Hatzic and Nicomen Island. So I was certainly open to go out and visit people throughout the area.”

In the 2013 election, Gibson won handily with just over half the vote. Conservative Don Stahl claimed 9.5 per cent of ballots, with Green Aird Flavelle finishing third, at nine per cent.

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