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'I put the time in': Harris wins second term in Ward 8

'Last time I was afraid to win, this time I was afraid to lose. Maybe a different motivation,' says Jim Harris
2018-12-03 City council inaug RB 11
Jim Harris has been elected to a second term in Ward 8. | Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday files

Winning Ward 8 was easier the second time around for Jim Harris.

The city councillor won in 2018 by just nine votes.

The margin was considerably larger this time, as Harris won with 2,877 votes compared to 763 for John Webb.

“Last time I was afraid to win, this time I was afraid to lose. Maybe a different motivation,” said Harris, a 57-year-old health-care planner.

“I was uncertain what it would be like (in 2018) to be on city council," he added. “I didn’t really understand campaigning and I think I spent less than $1,000, only had 100 signs, one piece of literature (a brochure).”

Harris said he thinks it helped being the incumbent in Ward 8 this time, and that he has provided good service to residents.

“I tried really hard to be responsive, be prepared, be thoughtful, respectful and I hope that’s what carried me,” he said. “I hope that’s what resonated. I did work hard … I know that. I put the time in and hopefully that’s what made the difference.”

Harris had an unconventional election night, picking up signs, then playing volleyball with his wife, Michele, at 9:30 p.m., before grabbing some more signs.

“It’s just to use up some nervous energy,” he said of collecting lawn signs. “Gives you something to do while you wait for the results.

“I was getting my results when it was my turn to sit out at volleyball, by text from friends and family, is how I got it.”

Webb, 47, is co-owner of the Creative Cafe, the paint your own pottery and arts studio in south-end Barrie.

In 2018, Harris won his first election by beating Brad Thompson 998-989, or with 30.78 per cent of the vote compared to 30.51 per cent for his opponent.