By Tammy Karatchuk (@TammyKaratchuk)
WINNIPEG — He’s not mayor, but he’s humble. Though Gord Steeves lost his bid to be Winnipeg’s next mayor on Wednesday night, in his concession speech, he came across a winner.
In front of approximately 40 people at his headquarters on Scurfield Boulevard, Steeves congratulated mayor-elect, Brian Bowman, who won the race with a convincing 111,504 votes.
“This is a gentleman who has a great passion for the City of Winnipeg,” Steeves said of Bowman. “I encourage you to work with him.”
Steeves admitted it was a “tough night” and his speech would be “one of the hardest short speeches of my career,” from a podium set up in a warehouse.
Steeves fell to fourth in the mayoral race with 21,080 votes.
He took a moment to also commended the other candidates.
“It’s been a pleasure debating you…it’s been a privilege to serve with you.”
Steeves went on to thank his family, including the “unwavering support” of his wife, Lorrie Steeves. “She has been a trouper and my biggest supporter.”
A comment Lorrie made on Facebook caused a flurry of controversy on August 8 when it appeared in a screenshot on Twitter.
“I apologize for what she’s been though… because of me,” Steeves said. “She was a casualty. It was hard to see her (Lorrie) go through that.”
Steeves said he believes in every policy he proposed, especially to eliminate the bus rapid transit.
“Maybe I was wrong about that. I’m not certain.”
Claude Steeves, his father, said when he heard Gord planned to run for mayor, the first word that came to mind was: “ambitious.”
“I knew it would be a tremendous amount of work for him,” said the senior Steeves. He and his wife helped the campaign effort by distributing flyers.
“It was a lot of sacrifice,” Claude said, adding it took him away from his job as a lawyer.
During Steeves’ concession speech, he did announce his return to private life.
“I am retiring from politics,” he said. “I’ve had a good run. (Back to) 9 to 5,” he joked with reporters. I’m returning to my firm.” Steeves works as an attorney for D’Arcy & Deacon LLP.
Steeves closed by wishing the city the best and his unwavering support for Winnipeg.
“Democracy is never ever wrong.”