COMOX, B.C. – Tom Diamond has no regrets in his bid to become Comox’s next mayor.

Russ Arnott became the new mayor of Comox on Saturday, receiving 2,715 votes to Diamond’s 1,626 votes.

The day after the municipal election, Diamond said he felt “very positive.”

“Though I didn’t become mayor, I won 37 percent of the vote,” Diamond said, in a prepared statement.

“Not bad for a long shot coming out of nowhere, making a first step into public life, and a first bid for political office.”

Diamond said his team helped grow support and “ultimately represent the voice of 1,626 Comox voters.”

“Think about that: why did almost 40 percent of Comox voters choose a completely unknown candidate?” Diamond said.

“They didn’t vote for who I am, they voted for the ideas I proposed: a platform of change with a major upgrade to Comox services and amenities.”

Diamond congratulated Arnott and the councillors who were elected to represent Comox.

“The new mayor and council members are fine people and sincerely want to provide their best service to our community,” he said.

But he noted that “I hope they recognize 1,626 votes as a wake-up call, a sobering reality that many citizens are not happy with the way things are.”

Those who want change are vital members of the Comox community, Diamond said.

“We represent a diverse range of ages, income levels and backgrounds. Some of us are newcomers and some have five generation families deeply rooted in the history of the valley.

“We love Comox, we want to be heard, and we want more.”

He continued, “We want our leaders to tackle major challenges. Our younger generations need better paid jobs, we need more services and amenities on our doorstep, the marina lacks maintenance and long promised expansion, the downtown lags behind promised revitalization, and we need much more affordable housing and living, especially for families and seniors.”

Diamond said the citizens also want Comox to stay open for business past 5 p.m., for the town to cut through red tape on development, create a new hub of airport jobs and services, grow the local economy, and help Comox “upgrade from sleepy suburb to full service and independent town.”

Diamond said that as Comox continues to grow with new families, professionals, and retirees from cities, the call for change will also grow.

“I congratulate the new Mayor Russ Arnott, and the exciting new wave of Council members,” Diamond said. “(I offer) my best wishes and deepest respect for your public service. I encourage all of you to stand together and fearlessly pursue new and sustainable, long term solutions that serve our entire community.”

Diamond thanked his campaign manager Brooke Finlayson, his volunteer team who clocked many kilometres delivering campaign cards, and his “incredibly supportive wife, Valeri Diamond, who helped me at every step, and never gave up through the many ups and downs of high pressure campaigning.”

“I am grateful for the new friends I have made, and the opportunity to start new conversations and find new ways to build a lasting legacy of health, happiness and prosperity for our children and grandchildren,” Diamond said.

“Thank you Comox. I am just getting started.”