In the battle of the brothers, the mayor of Port Colborne hangs on
Port Colborne voters send Mayor Bill Steele to City Hall for another term, replacing his brother Charles Steele who ran against him.
Unofficial results show Bill had 3,054 votes while Charles had 1,806.
The mayoral race drew attention at the start of the election season when Charles entered the race against his little brother who he hasn’t spoken to in 30 years.
The battle made national and international headlines, including the Guardian, and was even mentioned in a monologue by ‘Late Late Show’ host James Corden.
Charles told The Star’s Ben Mussett in September that he was running because he believed « in democracy » and that if he didn’t run Bill would have been acclaimed, meaning he would automatically remain mayor.
Bill previously told the Star that this election was like any other and that his team planned to run a campaign like they always have.
« I’m not talking about competition, so I won’t. Let’s talk about Bill Steele’s re-election,” Bill said in his September interview with the Star.
No one else raced against the two brothers. Charles, a retired postman, said he and his brother were like oil and water: « they just don’t mix ».
Charles congratulated his brother on his victory during his interview with the Star.
For the 1,806 voters who marked his name on the ballot, Charles showed his appreciation.
« I just can’t believe how many people voted for me, » Charles said. “They wanted a change. A lot of people want change, but it just hasn’t happened.
Bill said it was « a bit surprising » how many people voted for his brother.
“As they say in hockey, you won by one goal – you won by one goal. We’re leading the polls and we’re here for another four years,” Bill said.
If there’s one thing the distant brothers can agree on, it’s disappointment over low voter turnout. Just over 4,800 votes were cast for mayor and 5,008 total for the city of more than 20,000 on Lake Erie.
“We had an extremely low turnout. I think that should tell us something about the future because it’s just amazing,” Charles said.
Bill was also disappointed with the number of people who voted.
“Guys like my dad who fought tyranny in World War II, fought for our freedom to vote. And when you get less than 32% voter turnout in the municipality, that’s not good,” said Bill said Monday night.
“Whether they want to support me or not has nothing to do with me. It’s just that you have to go out and vote. We all have the freedom to do so. They have to think about it for the next election,” Bill added.
Both brothers said racing against each other didn’t change their relationship, or lack thereof.
Bills said he looks forward to returning to City Hall and advancing the agenda of the city’s strategic plan, including working with the marine and shipping industry.
As for Charles, he said he has no intention of running for another election.
With files from Ben Mussett
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