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Four candidates and counting to become Nahendeh MLA

A file photo of a sign standing at the entrance to the NWT's Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife
A file photo of a sign standing at the entrance to the NWT's Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

Two new names have joined the race to become the next Nahendeh MLA, bringing the overall number to at least four.

Hillary Deneron and Les Wright are the latest to announce their prospective candidacy, joining Darlene Sibbeston and Josh Campbell, who had each already announced their intent to run.

The Nahendeh district covers Fort Simpson, Fort Liard, Wrigley, Jean Marie River, Sambaa K’e and Nahanni Butte.

Deneron is the co-owner of the Liard Valley General Store and a former mayor of Fort Liard, holding that role during the peak of the pandemic’s impact on the territory.

Reached by phone on Monday, she confirmed her intention to run.

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“She’s well-known,” said Sean Whelly, mayor of Fort Simpson. “I imagine she’s going to be very well supported by her own community.”

Wright, a councillor in Fort Simpson, said he plans to run in a Facebook post on July 1.

Neither Deneron nor Wright returned a request for comment by deadline on how they would represent Nahendeh, if successful.

Nahendeh often sees significant competition. In 2015, the year Shane Thompson was first voted into office, he defeated six other hopefuls. In 2003, eight people ran to represent the district.

Thompson, now a minister, has yet to announce whether he plans to seek re-election or step down.

The territorial election is scheduled for October 3. Candidates can announce their intention to run at any time, but can only confirm their nomination once the election period begins in September.