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Plenty of interesting things seen and heard

Martin van den Hemel   Oct-23-2018

Paul Garland via Flickr.com


People tend to let their hair down on election night, and being a fly on the wall—or in this case a reporter tasked with covering a big party’s headquarters—is often fascinating.

It was in May of 2013 when a young volunteer drove up to MLA Linda Reid’s campaign headquarters at Garden City Centre in his sparkling clean yellow Lamborghini, adorned by an N sticker.

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But it’s not just observations, but conversations, that can make for an interesting evening.

BAD O-MAN?

It was a bad omen for Andy Hobbs around 9:53 p.m. Saturday. He was exactly 444 votes behind Michael Wolfe, who at that time sat in eighth place.

Four sounds like the Chinese word for death, and is considered bad luck.

So how did Hobbs react to the observation?

“I’m a dead man walking,” he chuckled.

INVISIBLE MAN

Jason Li ran with Richmond’s highest profile party, Richmond First, but ended up being a bit of an enigma wrapped up in a riddle.

Despite being surrounded by veteran politicians, Li was never really engaged with the election, failing to respond to The Richmond Sentinel’s candidate questionnaire, despite receiving multiple time extensions. He also didn’t participate in The Sentinel’s Facebook Live interviews, which saw the vast majority of candidates (54 out of 62) take advantage of the three-minute interviews. In fact, he didn’t fill out the questionnaire by The Richmond News either.

What he did do was show up Saturday night at Richmond First’s campaign headquarters, and look for the results on the projection screen.

He shouldn’t have been surprised by what he saw: his bid for a seat on the Richmond Board of Education fell far short.

He finished 24th in a 26-person race, receiving just 5,139 votes, more than 6,000 votes behind his Richmond First colleague, Norm Goldstein, who won the seventh and final spot on the board to return to the position he last held following the 2011 election.

BREAKING THE BOREDOM

Michael Wolfe’s young niece and nephew slumped in boredom at a long table with toys and games. Later, as the crowd thinned, while the results continued to trickle in, they skillfully rolled the length of the room in their heelies, their shoe’s bright lights adding a festive note to the Richmond Curling Club.

ANTI-SOGI FEARS

The first set of results on election night can often be misleading.

One trustee expressed relief that that was the case.

Had the initial numbers held true, there might have been at least two members on the Richmond Board of Education who ran on an anti-SOGI platform.

In fact, only Richard Lee who suggested he was anti-SOGI, is on the board.

FAMILY AFFAIRS

Running for office is a family affair in Richmond.

Niti Sharma’s sister flew in from India, saying, “This might be the only chance I get to support my sister in an election so I’m going to be here.”

Sharma’s husband, a UBC professor, worked calmly in the background and kept an eye on their 14-year-old son.

“He found it all pretty boring here until he found the pool table and someone who would play with him.”


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