While Brian Pallister’s Progressive Conservative party enjoyed a decisive win during the 2019 provincial election, the same can’t be said for incumbent Thompson MLA Kelly Bindle.
Around 11:10 p.m. on Sept. 10, Bindle and his campaign manager Jordan Katz saw the writing on the wall and conceded the race to NDP candidate Danielle Adams in person at her party headquarters on Selkirk Avenue.
After all 52 polls reported in, Elections Manitoba determined that Adams received 2,651 votes (over 50 per cent of all ballots cast), whereas Bindle only managed to capture 1,750 votes.
In a conversation with the Thompson Citizen, the PC candidate thanked his team, his supporters and his volunteers for their tireless work during his re-election campaign.
“Our team worked very hard. I can’t think of anything more we could have done,” he said.
Even though Bindle was disappointed that he won’t get to represent Thompson at a provincial level anymore, he still took solace in the fact that his party was able to form a renewed majority government after scooping up a total of 36 seats compared to the NDP’s 18.
“I'm happy our team won the game with a majority government, so we can still go forward with our agenda,” he said. “It's unfortunate that I didn't score a goal here, but I'm still glad our team won. Manitobans are in good hands.”
Bindle was first elected as Thompson’s MLA during the 2016 provincial election, when he defeated the NDP’s Steve Ashton by 185 votes to end his 35-year reign as the region’s provincial representative.
Tuesday night’s election results gave Bindle some time to reflect on some of his favourite memories from the last three years, including the opening of the rapid access to addictions medicine (RAAM) clinic and the Thompson General Hospital’s chemotherapy treatment unit.
While Bindle doesn’t have any immediate plans for the future, he did take a brief moment on Tuesday to give Adams a piece of advice now that she’s going to take over his seat in the legislature.
“Stick to the goals you’re trying to accomplish and don’t take things personally,” he said. “If someone starts taking things to heart then it just makes the job that much harder.”
Otherwise, Bindle also wanted to thank his constituents in general, whether they supported him or not during his tenure as Thompson’s MLA.
“It's been an absolute honour to serve them,” he said. “It's been very humbling and I'm very glad I got that opportunity. Not a lot of people get that opportunity.”