Patrick Brown, ousted as Ontario Progressive Conservative leader earlier this year, is the new mayor of Brampton.
Brown’s beleaguered political career was revived when he edged out incumbent Linda Jeffrey, about 4,000 votes separated the two, in one of the province’s tightest mayoral races Monday night.
A buoyant Brown, who captured 44.4 per cent of the vote, with 148 of 169 polls reporting, told cheering supporters that Brampton deserves attention and investment from the province, from increased spending on hospital beds and transit to jobs.
“We’re not second-class citizens in Brampton,” he said, his wife Genevieve Gualtieri at his side.
“You want to visit Brampton? We deserve an investment that comes with that visit.”
Brown said he wanted the city to “be open for business.”
“My party is the people of Brampton and I want results,” Brown said.
Jeffrey conceded defeat before all the polls were counted and congratulated Brown. She told her supporters that during her time in office that “together we brought in accountability, openness and transparency to city hall.”
“I can confidently say our city is in better shape than what I found it,” Jeffrey said.
Jeffrey, a former Liberal MPP, who resigned in 2014 to run for mayor of Brampton, had the backing of PC party operatives — Doug Ford’s campaign manager organized a fundraiser for her. Jeffrey won the 2014 mayoral election, ending Susan Fennell’s 14-year reign.
Brown stepped down from the Ontario PC leadership in January, following allegations of sexual misconduct, which he has denied and is fighting in a defamation lawsuit.
Brown served as a Barrie city councillor and MP for Barrie before stepping down in 2015 to run for leadership of the Ontario PC party, winning Simcoe North in a by-election that same year to become an MPP.
He entered the Brampton mayor’s race in surprising fashion on the last day for candidate registration in July. He had earlier declared his intention to run for chair of Peel Region before that race was called off by the provincial government.