The mayor-elect of Sault Ste. Marie poured a round of champagne for family, friends and supporters amid the cheers as the final votes appeared on a big screen at Sportscenter Bar and Grill in the west end Monday night.
Matthew Shoemaker won this year's mayoral race by a landslide, garnering more than 44 per cent (9,626 votes) of the vote for mayor in the 2022 municipal election. Ozzie Grandinetti was runner up with nearly 25 per cent (5,417 votes) of the votes, followed by former Ward 3 Coun. Donna Hilsinger (4,047 votes), Robert Peace (2,007 votes) and Tobin Kern (665 votes).
“What a great night it is, and we could not have hoped for a better result. We ran this campaign on ideas, and I’m so incredibly happy to see that the ideas have won the day,” said Shoemaker during a speech to supporters following his win. “I want to congratulate those elected or re-elected tonight, and I look forward to working with all of the councillors on working on moving your priorities forward over the next four years. Together we can make progress on the challenges our city faces.”
Shoemaker credited the other mayoral candidates for running “hard-fought campaigns” while acknowledging his predecessor, Christian Provenzano, for his work during his two terms as mayor.
“I want to offer him my gratitude and the gratitude of the community. For the last eight years, he’s given up part of his work life and part of his home life to contribute to our city,” said Shoemaker. “He’s conducted himself with dignity in office and deserves the city’s gratitude for his contributions to the betterment of Sault Ste. Marie.”
Shoemaker was first elected as Ward 3 councillor in 2014 and re-elected for a second term in 2018.
“I wanted to give back in whatever way I could, so for the last several terms I’ve given back as a councillor, and the opportunity was there to put myself forward to give back in a greater capacity,” he told SooToday. “I thought I had the skills and the plan to make it happen, so I decided, I would say late last year, early this year that this was the path I was going to take.”
Family figured prominently into Shoemaker’s speech following his win Monday.
“I ran because I wanted to give our kids and everyone else in the city the best community they could possibly have,” he said during his speech.