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Former Cape Breton-Richmond MLA says he's glad to have served

Michel Samson says the people of Cape Breton-Richmond have spoken, and he's happy to have served them.

On Tuesday night, the Liberal candidate was ousted from the seat he had held since 1998.

It came down to the 42nd and final poll, as Progressive Conservative Alana Paon won by just 20 votes.

Afterward, Samson told The Hawk it was simply democracy at work.

"I had the opportunity to visit many countries where people are still fighting for the right to be able to vote, and to be able to choose who is going to represent them," he said, "and this is a great riding, and people were able to choose in a free, democratic election. I certainly respect the result."

Samson was re-elected five times (1999, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2013) after his initial win in 1998.

The former energy minister said it was not the time to question what led to the reversal, and that he was eager to congratulate Paon.

Samson said he was honoured to serve as long as he did.

"When people came to my office and said, 'We don't know where to turn, but somebody told us to come see you, because if anyone could help us, it was you', and that's the greatest compliment that could ever be given to me," he said, "and we worked very hard over the years to represent people, and I'm very proud of the record that we've been able to achieve."

Samson said it was too early to say whether or not he'll request a recount; under Elections Nova Scotia rules, there's an automatic recount if the margin of victory is 10 votes or less.

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