About 400 supporters of Larry Di Ianni had gone to Chandelier Place in Stoney Creek hoping for a victory party.
They moaned, then cheered, then fell silent as the results see-sawed back and forth between Di Ianni and Fred Eisenberger. By the time Di Ianni came in at 10 p.m., they had accepted defeat. They stood in ovation but their disappointment was evident. For his part, Di Ianni smiled even in defeat as he addressed his supporters.
Di Ianni said it was still too soon for detailed analysis but his first impression was that it was more of a vote against him, and that Eisenberger was the beneficiary.
Di Ianni said he knew all along it was closer than most people realized but felt in the closing days that he was picking up enough support to earn him a second term.
Reaction among those at City Hall ranged from surprise for some to others who said they'd caught the scent of upset on the wind in the final weeks of the campaign.
Terry Whitehead was surprised, especially when comparing budgets and campaigns; Eisenberger's campaign was being run on a shoestring, he said. Whitehead said Di Ianni probably went down in defeat due to the campaign financing issue created by Dundas bookseller, Joanna Chapman.