TOVotes: Fletcher triumphs over Fragedakis in Ward 14
Paula Fletcher won a commanding victory Monday night over Mary Fragedakis in Ward 14, but it was a bittersweet win.
Fletcher received nearly half of the vote in Toronto-Danforth, with 16,467 votes cast in her name.
Fragedakis was the runner up and received 10,201 votes.
Located east of the Don Valley, Toronto-Danforth is home to a population of 106,875 including sizable Greek and South Asian communities.
The newly created ward straddles both sides of Danforth Avenue and joins the former Wards 29 and 30.
It was one of many battlegrounds in the Toronto city election that saw two incumbent councillors and former allies facing-off against each other.
Fletcher and Fragedakis condemned the controversial move by Premier Doug Ford, which saw the size of city council shrink from 47 to 25.
Fletcher was elected to represent Ward 30 in 2003 and has been a prominent progressive voice on city council.
Fragedakis has represented Ward 29 since 2010, often allying herself with Fletcher and other east end councillors.
Fletcher and Fragedakis also ran against eight other candidates including Lanrick Bennet, Chris Budo, Dixon Chan, Marisol D’Andrea, Ryan Lindsay, Lawrence Lychowyd, Chris Marinakis and Alexander Pena.
Going into Monday’s vote, an opinion poll by Mainstreet Research had indicated Fletcher would win by a comfortable margin.
Fletcher was endorsed by the Toronto Star and received high profile praise from colleagues and residents.
Not all residents were happy with having to decide between the two popular and well-liked frontrunners, an Oct. 14 Toronto Star article said.
The incumbents attempted to keep the race civil and were not targeting each other with personal attacks, Fletcher said to Global News.
Running against a friend and a colleague proved to be uncomfortable for both parties, Fragedakis said to the Toronto Star’s David Rider.
Fletcher and Fragedakis attended a debate on Oct. 3 at Centennial College which covered issues like affordable housing and transportation.
Gun violence and crime were also major discussion topics as the community recovers from a deadly mass shooting in Greektown this summer.
Two people were killed and many more injured after a gunman opened fire on a busy section of Danforth.
Fletcher and Fragedakis were both lauded for their responses to the shooting and attended a memorial service together.
Their rivals, however, were quick to criticize their times in office, at the debate and on the campaign trail, the Beach Metro reported.
“I don’t see change coming from the two incumbents on the cost of living, public safety and road safety,” Chris Budo, 22, said to the Toronto Star.
Development in the Port Lands and progress on the Relief Line were among the many achievements Fletcher was proud of, she said to Global News.
Her advocacy for Toronto’s film industry has brought jobs to the city and has helped revitalize an industrial area on the lake, she said.
Fragedakis campaigned on her record as a progressive seat on TTC board, as well as her ties to the Greek community.