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Paon upsets Samson; three other local ridings unchanged

The Quad Counties stayed the same following Tuesday's provincial election with one exception, and it may have been the biggest upset of the night.

Alana Paon of the Tories won Cape Breton-Richmond by 20 votes over Michel Samson, the long-time Liberal incumbent who had represented the riding since 1998, in a race that came down to the final poll.

After her win, Paon told The Hawk the campaign was a great experience.

"(I'm) absolutely thrilled with the results- it was a close race," she said. "Everybody has done their best in the race, and it's just been a really fantastic experience here."

There was no change in the three other local ridings- Liberals Randy Delorey and Lloyd Hines reclaimed their seats in Antigonish and Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie, respectively.

Delorey was in a close race with Ray Mattie of the Tories early in the evening, but started pulling away as more polls came in, and finished more than 700 votes ahead; Hines was trailing Tory challenger Rob Wolf heading into the final two polls, but ended up with a 71-vote win.

After, Hines told The Hawk fewer voters cast ballots, and that played a role in several races.

"This time, it looks to me like the voter turnout has dropped significantly, and that's definitely a factor in the process," he said. "It's one of the things that's quite noticeable."

Allan MacMaster of the Tories was re-elected in Inverness with the widest margin of victory in the local ridings; he had 62 per cent of the vote, double that of second-place finisher Bobby Morris of the Liberals.

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