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Ottawa elects Jim Watson as mayor

Incumbent Larry O'Brien concedes early in the evening

Jim Watson - Ottawa's mayor elect Credit: Noreen Fagan

Ottawa has decided – Jim Watson is the city’s new mayor.

With 49 percent of the votes, gay-friendly centrist Jim Watson took the mayoralty from business conservative incumbent Larry O’Brien in what appeared to be a walk in the park.

Watson’s win was called early in the evening. Early polls showed Watson in the lead by 48 percent with no chance of O’Brien catching up. O’Brien announced his concession at 9:15pm after speaking to Watson on the phone.

Amidst cheers and a huge show of support from supporters, Watson gave his acceptance speech. Towards the end of the evening, Watson took time out to say a few words to Xtra.

“There is an enormous responsibility for me to live up to the public’s expectations for one, and secondly I have to fulfill the commitments I made in my platform. And that is certainly going to drive me over the course of the next four years. The biggest challenge we have, obviously, in the short term is the budget for 2011,” says Watson.