By Echo Staff
Conservative candidate Jamie Schmale will find himself outnumbered on Parliament Hill when he takes his seat as MP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock amongst a sea of Liberal red.
“I think we knew it was going to be a fight” Schmale said early on election night Monday Oct. 19 at the Cat and the Fiddle in Lindsay.
While Conservatives and NDP members across the country lost their seats this riding remained blue with Schmale taking the lead early.
Liberal candidate David Marquis said the national results “are fantastic” though he trailed Schmale in votes throughout the evening conceding before 11 p.m.
This was the first election as Conservative candidate for Schmale who previously worked as executive assistant for longtime Conservative MP Barry Devolin.
Schmale’s background is in radio. He worked for 91.9FM Radio in Lindsay before moving into politics 11 years ago.
According to his website Schmale grew up in Bobcaygeon and now lives in Lindsay with his wife Julia and son Declan.
Schmale was a regular fixture at community events throughout the lengthy campaign for federal office which began in August. He’s had plenty of practice. He helped Devolin with his campaigns in four previous elections.
Schmale campaigned on the virtues of low taxes noting that the federal government had done much to reduce taxes already under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Representing a long-standing government Schmale had much to account for and found himself defending the Conservatives’ record during the campaign.
In particular an all-candidates meeting in Haliburton in September brought to the fore many criticisms of the government’s policies on the environment military spending and social programs.
While he was the youngest candidate running for election in the riding at age 39 he has the most experience in Parliament while working for the MP he argues.
Schmale said the time spent working for Devolin prepared him to represent Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock.
“I think that’s one of my biggest advantages” Schmale said in an interview with the paper in March of 2014. “I know the players in the riding. I know the issues. The learning curve will be very small.”