Ward Sspomitapi: Moe Banga falls short in re-election attempt; Jo-Anne Wright elected


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Southeast Edmonton will be represented by a new city councillor after voters handed incumbent Moe Banga a tough defeat.

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By press time Monday night, the two-term councillor was in third behind challengers Jo-Anne Wright and Harman Singh Kandola.

Banga, a former city police officer, was first elected in 2016 in a by-election triggered when then-councillor Amarjeet Sohi left council to pursue a successful run for the federal Liberals. Banga beat out a field of 32 candidates that year, and repeated in the 2017 general election, winning nearly 46 per cent of the vote in Ward 12.

Wright, his nearest challenger that year with 23 per cent of the vote, looked set to win the seat Monday evening.

Banga’s challengers repeatedly raised issues about his responsiveness to local constituents. Kandola, a commercial lawyer and former candidate for the provincial Progressive Conservatives, repeatedly criticized the incumbent, saying constituents felt “forgotten” at city hall. Wright  said some residents found him hard to reach.