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Testart and Hawkins back as MLAs, Morse and Reid win tight races

Kieron Testart and his supporters await Tuesday's results at his campaign headquarters. Samantha Stuart for Cabin Radio
Kieron Testart and his supporters await Tuesday's results at his campaign headquarters. Samantha Stuart for Cabin Radio

Julian Morse, Kate Reid, Kieron Testart, Robert Hawkins and Shauna Morgan will join Caitlin Cleveland and Caroline Wawzonek as Yellowknife’s latest set of MLAs.

Morse and Morgan are former city councillors. Reid was president of the YWCA NWT and a union local. Testart and Hawkins are each ex-MLAs making comebacks after prior defeats.

Together, the seven have more than three decades’ experience as either city councillors or MLAs.

Here’s a recap of how Tuesday night played out in each of the five competitive districts. Cleveland and Wawzonek were acclaimed earlier.

Frame Lake

Julian Morse won a tight race for the Frame Lake seat.



With all votes tallied, Morse led with 209 votes, followed by Spencer Tracy with 182, Stuart Wray with 169, John Stanley with 49 and Deanna Cornfield with 26.

More: Read Julian Morse’s candidate interview

Speaking to Cabin Radio earlier in the evening about his lead, Morse said: “It’s been extremely close and to be honest with you, I’ve been completely shocked by the results. So it’s been an interesting night, that’s for sure,” he said.

Earlier in the evening, Wray said he felt Morse had been the front-runner the whole election.



“He’s got name value, he was on city council,” Wray said. “He comes with a brand.” 

Great Slave Lake

In another tight race, Kate Reid won the Great Slave seat by a narrow margin.

Reid finished with 263 votes, followed by Stacie Arden Smith with 237 votes. Incumbent Katrina Nokleby had 197 and James Lawrance 59.

More: Kate Reid’s candidate interview

“Thanks, folks of my district, for giving me a new job,” Reid wrote online after her victory. She told Cabin Radio she was looking forward to working collaboratively in the legislature after her victory was confirmed.

Arden Smith called running for territorial office a “bucket-list item” and said campaigning had amplified her voice. She promised to “fight even harder” as deputy mayor of Yellowknife.

Range Lake

Kieron Testart won the Range Lake seat.

Testart led the polls for most of the evening. By the time all of the district’s votes were counted, he had 326 votes, Aaron Reid had 155 and Nicole Sok had 109.



More: Kieron Testart’s candidate interview

Testart represented Kam Lake in the 18th Legislative Assembly before losing his seat to Caitlin Cleveland.

“It’s been really exciting,” he told Cabin Radio early on Tuesday evening. “We’ve been working really hard with all of our team to run a very confident campaign, a large campaign. A campaign that’s got a lot of support from our neighbourhood.

“It’s good to see these results. It’s really heartening to me to earn the trust of Range Lakers going into this next assembly.”

Yellowknife Centre

Robert Hawkins will take the Yellowknife Centre seat. Hawkins received 333 votes, Matt Spence had 243 and Ambe Chenemu had 225.

Speaking with Cabin Radio on Tuesday evening before all the votes were counted, Spence described the race as “hard-fought.”

More: Robert Hawkins’ candidate interview

“I’m surprised at the low turnout because I would have expected, with the engagement I got at the door, that we would have gotten more people out to vote,” he said.



“I don’t feel badly because I worked as hard as I could,” said Spence. “There wasn’t a stone I think I left unturned.”

Yellowknife North

Shauna Morgan delivered a big win, recording 734 votes to Bruce Valpy’s 350 and Jon Howe’s 54.

“I’m very excited,” she said, speaking to Cabin Radio on Tuesday evening.

More: Shauna Morgan’s candidate interview

Morgan described the campaign as “extremely intense” compared to the municipal elections she had been used to as a two-term councillor.

“I didn’t expect just how intensive it is in terms of the wide diversity of issues that people are bringing forward, the questions they have,” she said, adding that she had to do research every day to answer voters’ questions.

“I have a much better sense now of just how many important issues this territory is facing, and how much people are invested in us taking new directions, better directions,” she said.

Morgan thanked her team, her two opponents and the residents of Yellowknife North for having hope in the future.

“I know it’s been discouraging times lately, but my overwhelming sense was that people want to have hope and they see that in me, and they see the possibility for change,” she said.