Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taichung mayoral candidate Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) yesterday won the election, as forecast by pre-election polls, ending Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) incumbent Jason Hu’s (胡志強) 13-year-governance of the city.
Lin garnered 847,284 votes, or 57.06 percent of the vote, defeating Hu’s 637,531. The DPP’s Lin had a landslide victory in the race, securing 209,753 more votes than Hu and 117,000 more than in 2010.
In the mayoral election four years ago, Hu received 730,284 votes, or 51.12 percent of the vote, while then-DPP candidate Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) received 698,358 votes. Even then the vote gap between the two was narrow, with Hu leading by only a little more than 30,000 votes.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
The poll numbers before the election saw Lin in the lead, and the result confirmed the prediction.
As it became clear that he would lose the election before the official result was announced, the incumbent mayor appeared before the supporting crowd at about 7pm to express his gratitude to his supporters.
“The majority of the votes have been tallied. I think there’s no more need to defer my acknowledgment of defeat,” Hu said.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
“This is my own failure. I am not good enough and didn’t work hard enough. However, my campaign team has fought a good, flawless fight. There was no flaw in anybody’s performance or support during the campaign,” Hu said, adding that he “realized there was a possibility of losing the race.”
Lin also made a speech to his supporters before the Central Election Committee’s official statistics were announced, expressing gratitude and promising that he would be a mayor of all the city’s residents.
“I have to thank those who have voted for me to realize the ideals I’ve promised. However, I also have to express my gratitude, especially to those who have not been able to vote for me. Thank you for participating in this election, and your support will be the force to push us forward in the future,” Lin said.
Photo: Liao Yau-tung, Taipei Times
“We have received strong support particularly in the region that used to be Taichung County before the merger, and this has confirmed our observation that there is a problem of marginalization of the region and that a widened urban-rural divide exists,” he said. “Eliminating the gap and altering the uneven development will be our goal in the future.”
“The election has taken us beyond the barriers of generations and political parties. We have seen many young people’s passionate participation this time, reflected in their high turnout rate. We have also seen many who might have previously voted for the pan-blue camp voting for us this time,” Lin said.
“The votes, I believe, are not for me personally. This is a demonstration of civilism (市民主義) and Greater Taichung’s residents’ hope for a change,” he said.
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