Sun, Nov 30, 2014 - Page 0 News List

2014 ELECTIONS: Lin Chih-chien of the DPP edges by in Hsinchu City win

By Lii Wen  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday lost its traditional stronghold of Hsinchu City despite a split in the opposition vote, while it retained power in Hsinchu County and Miaoli County.

The region’s dramatic contests featured many familiar faces, with a former mayor and a former commissioner joining the fray, although both failed in their attempts to reclaim their former posts.

In Hsinchu City, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) nominee Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) prevailed by a whisker in a three-legged mayoral race despite a split in the pan-green vote, defeating KMT Mayor Hsu Ming-tsai (許明財) and former mayor Tsai Jen-chien (蔡仁堅), who ran as an independent candidate after failing to make the DPP ticket in September.

Lin triumphed with 76,578 votes, albeit by a razor-thin margin, with Hsu just behind with 75,564 votes, and Tsai trailing in third with 40,480 votes, ending a race marked by the exchange of vicious attacks between the two DPP-affiliated candidates.

Lin and Tsai received 38.36 and 20.28 percent of the vote respectively, a major improvement for the DPP from the 41 percent it received in 2009, while Hsu’s share of the vote dropped from 55 to 37.85 percent.

Hsinchu County Commissioner Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳) staved off a close challenge from his predecessor, Cheng Yung-chin (鄭永金), an ex-KMT member who ran as an independent candidate.

Cheng lost despite the backing of the DPP, which chose not to field a candidate in the county, which has traditionally been dominated by the pan-blue camp.

Chiu collected 124,309 votes, beating the 118,698 votes that went to his nearest rival. The two received an almost even share of the vote, with Chiu claiming 46.94 percent and Cheng with 44.82 percent.

In the battle for Miaoli County commissioner, KMT Legislator Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) breezed through in another multi-legged race, winning 147,547 votes, leaving behind the DPP’s Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻) and independent candidate Kang Shih-ju (康世儒), who received 89,838 votes and 60,356 votes respectively.

Hsu declared victory despite being embroiled in an ongoing legal case. The candidate is appealing a nine-year sentence for graft committed during his term as the mayor of Toufen Township (頭份).

Discussions of a possible alliance between Kang and the DPP failed to materialize, closing the door to a reenactment of Kang’s successful legislative campaign in 2009, in which the former KMT member received DPP support as an independent.

The KMT remained dominant, with Hsu racking up 46.59 percent of the vote in a victory comparable to his predecessor Liu Cheng-hung’s (劉政鴻) win in 2009 with 63 percent.

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