The polls didn’t turn her way, but Nipissing NDP candidate Erika Lougheed described her campaign as “a huge success” when she addressed about thirty supporters in the back dining room at Lou Dawgs in downtown North Bay just after 10 Thursday night.
She admitted the campaign was a “wild ride,” and thanked those gathered for the “time and effort” they dedicated to the cause. Lougheed also acknowledged the local NDP campaigns that came before her for helping to break ground in North Bay. “A lot of those campaigns ran on barely anything,” less than a shoestring budget, and didn’t have “the resources that we have today.”
“I’m not sad” over the loss, she emphasized to the party faithful, “because I think this is a really good stepping stone for all of us to really start organizing even more.” With this, the small crowd erupted in cheers and applause, and when the ovation dimmed, Lougheed continued, urging people to “start organizing” at the grassroots, “because that is how change will happen.”
“I don’t believe that this is the end,” she explained. “Let’s keep pushing.”
Lougheed emphasized how her team and supporters “gave it our all” throughout the campaign. “We brought people together when they felt really apart.” After knocking on thousands of doors, she admitted that what she heard from many residents “fundamentally changed her.”
Earlier in the campaign, Lougheed mentioned there was much “silent suffering” happening in North Bay and the surrounding area, and hearing so many stories from those suffering left a mark, but also urged her to keep working for more change, to help ensure all people are lifted up “and that we make communities stronger.”
“We brought people together,” she said, “and for me, that is a huge success.”
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.