From left: former Frame Lake MLA Kevin O'Reilly, Yellowknife South's Caroline Wawzonek, former Yellowknife North MLA Rylund Johnson, Frame Lake MLA-elect Julian Morse and Kam Lake's Caitlin Cleveland. Bill Braden for Cabin Radio
Here’s everything you need to know about the NWT’s 2023 election results in less than 300 words.
RJ Simpson won easily in Hay River North and has already said he’ll run for premier. Caroline Wawzonek is expected to be in contention for the role and Shane Thompson, re-elected in Nahendeh, suggested he may do the same.
Seven incumbents lost: ministers Diane Archie and Paulie Chinna were beaten by Denny Rodgers and Danny McNeely respectively. Longtime Mackenzie Delta MLA Frederick Blake Jr lost narrowly to George Nerysoo.
Fort Smith deputy mayor Jay Macdonald beat Frieda Martselos in Thebacha. Vince McKay defeated Rocky Simpson and former minister Wally Schumann in Hay River South. Ron Bonnetrouge lost to Sheryl Yakeleya in Dehcho.
Katrina Nokleby was ousted by Kate Reid in Great Slave. Reid’s narrow victory, by 26 votes over Stacie Arden Smith with Nokleby third, wasn’t the only close race in Yellowknife. Julian Morse only just defeated Spencer Tracy in Frame Lake, 209 votes to 182, with Stuart Wray on 169.
But this year, unusually, no races required a judicial recount.
Comfortable wins included Shauna Morgan in Yellowknife North, Robert Hawkins in Yellowknife Centre, Kieron Testart in Range Lake, Lucy Kuptana in Nunakput, Richard Edjericon in Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh and Lesa Semmler in Inuvik Twin Lakes.
Caitlin Cleveland in Kam Lake and Jane Weyallon Armstrong in Monfwi had been acclaimed earlier, alongside Wawzonek in Yellowknife South.
The 20th Assembly will have eight female MLAs, down from 10 at the end of the 19th Assembly but far more than at any previous time.
Ten of the MLAs have prior experience of the job, compared to eight last time. Hawkins, McNeely and Testart all made comebacks after prior defeats.
A premier will be picked by the end of November, then a cabinet in early December.