At Wayne Chacun’s election night party in his Virden home, a few of the usual faces were missing -- NDP stalwarts who always show up. But things have changed.
Chacun says it was hard to put together an experienced team of volunteers because several have become too old to help out and others were victims of revised electoral boundaries, which took effect this year.
He points to party loyalists like Bob and Maureen Senff who, because they live in Oak Lake, wound up in the Spruce Woods riding after Arthur-Virden became Riding Mountain.
The shifting borders robbed Chacun of some potential volunteers who could have steered him through his first run at provincial politics.
But watching him relax and enjoy the company of his supporters, parents, and husband Will Noseworthy as the results came in Tuesday evening, it was clear that coming in second was not a big surprise for the team nor a crushing disappointment for Chacun.
“This isn’t a negative story. It’s about what we learned and the choice we gave people.
“It was a really good experience. I’m appreciative for all the support from voters and volunteers, and I come away from it feeling positive about what we did.”
Would he change anything about his campaign?
“If I was to do it again, I wouldn’t want to be working full time while running a campaign.” As a Manitoba Government Employees Union paramedic, he is able to request an unpaid leave of absence to run for office.
And he isn’t ruling out another go -- as long as he can stay close to his Virden home and serve his community of southwestern Manitoba.
His politics may swing to the left in a decidedly conservative region, but about that uphill battle, he says:
“I don’t think people should base their decision on running just on the likelihood of winning. Democracy only works when voters have a choice. I felt it was important they have an NDP choice.”