Preliminary election results show the three-term city councillor received 7,661 votes to Wright's 5,149. Cote was first elected to council in 2005, and has been outspoken on the issue of traffic congestion plaguing the city's major routes.
He had secured the support of the four incumbent councillors — Chuck Puchmayr, Lorrie Williams, Jaimie McEvoy, and Bill Harper — as well as the New Westminster Labour council.
All four councillors won their seats back.
Wright was first elected mayor in 2002, and painted himself as the underdog in this election taking on the big labour "machine."
Richmond re-elects Malcolm Brodie
Meantime, voters in Richmond overwhelmingly re-elected Mayor Malcolm Brodie for a sixth term.
The city's unofficial results show Brodie received 27,149 votes, compared to opponent Richard Lee's 10,667.
This isn't the first time Brodie has defeated Lee in a mayoral race. In 2011, he cruised to victory over him in a two-to-one landslide. However, there was some speculation that Lee could unseat the 13-year incumbent this time around, having formed his own political slate.
If he had succeeded, he would have been Richmond's fourth mayor since 1974, and the first of Asian descent in a city with a majority Chinese demographic.
Voter turnout in Richmond was up nine per cent this year, at 32.4 per cent, compared to a 23.4 per cent in 2011.
Richard Stewart wins in Coquitlam
Over in Coquitlam, Mayor Richard Stewart was re-elected for a third term in a three-to-one landslide over 82-year-old Lou Sekora.
Unofficial election results show Stewart received 15,002 votes — nearly 70 per cent of total ballots cast — compared to Sekora's 5,705.
Sekora held the city's top job from 1983 to 1997, before being elected federal MP of Port Moody-Coquitlam in 1998. He returned to Coquitlam city council in 2005, and has been a lone dissenting voice on important votes. Now 83, he told CBC's Stephen Quinn his age worked against him, and this will be the last time he runs for office.
Voter turnout in this year's Coquitlam race was 26.01 per cent.