By JANINE BAALBERGEN

Cr Victoria Kaye-Simmons, who ran for Horowhenua mayor and seat for the Levin garnered 3273 votes for the mayoralty and 3043 for a seat for the Levin ward.

She was one of the first people to congratulate Bernie Wanden with his 5255 vote win. Incumbent mayor Michael Feyen has 3145 votes with 95 per cent of votes counted. For the Levin Ward Kaye-Simmons had the highest number of votes, followed by Jo Mason (2752), Sam Jennings (2060), Piri-Hiri Takapua (1684) and Todd Isaacs ( (1578).

She is not too disappointed have lost the race for the mayoralty to Bernie Wanden and as she chose to run for council as well she will still be able to make a difference.

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"I had a fantastic campaign team. They really worked hard and kept me grounded. Local business women and many women in key roles in community organisations have been so supportive, all keen to get behind a working mum, said Kaye-Simmons."

"Nine years ago I thought running for council was hard but that was easy compared to this election. We had about 14 or 15 meet the candidates meetings alone."

She said campaign highlights were visits to rest homes such as Te Whānau and the War Veterans.

"It was great to engage with them. They were the most genuinely interested and passionate people for Horowhenua. They would like elected members and staff to visit the more often and let them know what is going on around the district."

"It was great interacting with youth. They showed more interest than ever in the elections."

She said she enjoyed her online campaign too.

"It was brilliant, had lots of engagement and a lot of private messages and questions from voters.

"A great team has been elected and it is a vote for positivity. This election was a great experience and certainly character building."

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"I am excited about the next term. We have got lots to do and I hope the Māori Land Court soon makes decision about the Lake Horowhenua trustees, so we can get on with cleaning up the lake.

"There is plenty of good stuff to get on with for the new team."