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New Year`s Levee hosted by MP Andrew Leslie and MPP Marie-France Lalonde


Cumnberland Township Agriculture Socirty (CTAS) annual general meeting


Blackburn Community Association Annual General Meeting


The Good Time Band performing at the Orléans Legion

Dudas proves second time’s the charm in winning Innes Ward race
By Fred Sherwin

It’s been four long years since Laura Dudas finished a heart-breaking second to outgoing Innes Ward councillor Jody Mitic in the 2014 municipal election. Since then, she has counted the days until she might get a shot at redemption.

Her time finally came Monday night when she beat out three other candidates to replace Mitic who announced his retirement for personal reasons last spring.

Councillor-elect Laura Dudas is surrounded by her family after winning the city council seat in Innes Ward 2. Jean-Marc Pacelli/Photo

Make no mistake about it, Dudas’ win was emphatic. She captured over 41 per cent of the vote against a quality field that included one-time office assistant to former Innes Ward councillor Rainer Bloess, Donna Leith-Gudbranson who came in second with 28 per cent of the vote; 2014 third place finisher François Trépanier who once again could do no better than third place with 18.5 per cent of the vote; and former office assistant to Jody Mitic Tammy Lynch, who placed fourth with 12 per cent.

Dudas capitalized on her past campaign experience and her tenure as the former president of the Blackburn Community Association. She is also a long-time city staffer, having worked in the communications department.

During her excepting speech at the Blackburn Arms Pub, Dudas thank all her supporters and volunteers for helping to put her over the top.

“I want to thank everyone for showing their support in me and trusting me to take your priorities to City Hall,” Dudas said to loud cheers from the crowd. “And I also couldn’t have done this without all the incredible volunteers on my team who believed in me from day one. I want to thank you so much. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here tonight.”

Dudas said she doeen't to wait for her swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 1 to start making a difference.

“I can’t wait to get to work. I can’t wait to see results for our community. Whether it’s the road infrastructure we need or the ecnomic development and jobs for the east went... I can’t wait to get started,” said Dudas, who doesn’t plan to take any time off.

“There is so much to do. Four years is such a short time.”

As for her campaign platform and the prospects of achieving concrete results, Dudas says she has a plan to accomplish everything she has promised to do.

“You know there’s nothing that I promised that I won’t be sticking to and bringing to fruition,” Dudas said after her acceptance speech. “I want to achieve tangible results in our area, whether it’s the infrastructure we need, whether it’s improvements to public transit, or whether it’s bringing jobs and businesses to the east end. I have a plan to for how to do all those things and I can’t wait to get to work.”

Dudas was part of a movement that saw three female newcomers elected to city council, bringing the total number of women serving on the body to seven.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)




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