Watson re-elected

By Joel Charron

As Conservative MP candidate Jeff Watson walked into the banquet room at the Canadian Transportation Museum, he was welcomed with loud cheers.

Watson capped off the 2011 election with his fourth straight victory in the Essex Riding Monday night.

The incumbent MP defeated NDP candidate Taras Natyshak, who finishes second and Liberal candidate Nelson Santos, who finished a disappointing third in the Essex riding.

“The people of Essex proved once again they like to make History,” Watson said to his room full of supporters.

Watson grabbed 25,328 votes, which turns out to be 48 per cent of the votes cast. Natyshak picked up 18,487 votes, Santos ended with 7,565 votes. First time candidate Cora Carriveau of the Green party received 1,290 and Marxist-Leninist candidate Enver Villamizar finished with 77 votes.

Watson called this campaign the smoothest rollout to a campaign he has ever had and said the campaign was as close to flawless as it could be.

“Essex has always been ahead of the curve,” he said.

Watson noted that this was the first time a Conservative candidate was elected four straight times in the Essex riding.

The room also exploded in jubilation when the Conservatives were declared as having a majority government for the first time since 1988.

Watson told his supporters that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the

Conservative government will stay focused on rebuilding the economy

Passing the budget will be one of the top priorities touted Watson. He

said the budget is one that that will pay down the debt and bring an influx of new jobs.

“It’s a good budget, a compromise budget,” he said.

Watson mentioned that the Conservative government’s “historic investments” in the Essex riding was one of the reasons that led to his re-election.

“Residents in this riding want to have a seat at the table,” Watson said.

Watson said a new border crossing remains a high priority as he looks forward to meeting with Michigan officials in Lansing to push the Detroit River International Crossing (DRIC) along.

“We need to close the deal on the DRIC and get those thousands of job for that bridge going,” said Watson.

Watson seemed disappointed that NDP incumbents Brian Masse in Windsor-West and Joe Comartin in   Windsor-Tecumseh were both re-elected.

“Windsor chose to take a step back by choosing members of the Official Opposition,” he said. “I don’t know what that is going to mean for their economic recovery. My concerns have to be on the riding of Essex.”

Watson mentioned that he predicated the Conservatives would win 165 seats and called the majority government critical for the direction of the country.

Watson also thanked his wife Sarah and his five children for their assistance during his campaign.

“This is not an easy lifestyle,” Watson explained. “They are amazing and I just want to thank them for their commitment.”

Watson also thanked his campaign team and volunteers for all their hard work.

Watson sent his condolences to the family and friends of former Lakeshore mayor and NDP MPP Pat Hayes, who succumbed to lung cancer earlier Monday.

“Pat was outstanding in his years of public service,” Watson said.

Watson noted he had reached out to Natyshak earlier in the day but was unable to speak with him.

“Our prayers and thoughts are with you and ou family in the days and weeks to comes,” he said, directing his comments towards his NDP opponent.

The voter turnout in the Essex Riding was 58.9 per cent.

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