NWT election 2019: Who's expected to run, and where

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The Northwest Territories goes to the polls on October 1, 2019, to elect 19 MLAs for the next four years.

For the first time, eligible residents can vote online by signing up for an absentee ballot in advance. If you'll be 18 or over on October 1, qualify as an NWT resident, and are a Canadian citizen, make sure you're registered to vote.

On this page, you can find brief summaries of who's expected to stand for election in each of the territory's 19 electoral districts.


Did we miss someone or are you announcing your intention to run? Contact our newsroom with any information you think we should include on this page.

Once the writs are issued on September 2, signalling the official start of the election, Cabin Radio will bring you in-depth interviews with as many of the candidates as we can reach.

Listen to Cabin Radio's Lunchtime News for interviews or read the full transcripts on this website.

To find out more about voting, consult the Elections NWT website.


If you'd like to be all fancy and vote online in this election, you'll need to apply for an absentee ballot between August 19 and September 21.

You can vote in the office of your local returning officer from September 7 until September 28, or you can vote on polling day itself, October 1. To find a polling station near you, click here.

More information:

Note: Until nominations open in September, nobody is officially a candidate. This page currently documents people who have announced an intention to stand for election.

This page last updated: 14:15 MT on August 20, 2019, to add Sallie Ross in Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Deh Cho

No announcements yet received by Cabin Radio. (Are we missing one? Contact our newsroom.)

Frame Lake

O'Reilly, first elected in 2015, announced his intention to seek re-election on June 13. He listed priorities including "real action" on climate change, a "real visitors' centre" for tourists in Yellowknife, and the North's knowledge economy (such as the forthcoming polytechnic university).

Ramsay, the Kam Lake MLA from 2003 until Kieron Testart defeated him in 2015, says he hopes to return to office in the Frame Lake riding. Announcing his intention to run on July 3, he said: "This city and territory holds so much hope and promise, but it seems the last four years has
shown very little evidence of progress."

Great Slave

  • Katrina Nokleby

Nokleby, an engineer, announced her intent to run on July 8. She said she would bring a "diverse voice and unique skill set" to the legislature, adding she wants to grow the NWT's economy while ensuring sustainability and environment protection are maintained to a "high standard."

  • Patrick Scott

Scott, an NWT resident since 1975, announced his intent to run on August 13. Scott said his campaign would focus on themes of "renew, refocus, and revive," and added: "I am willing to think outside the box to find new ways to make our communities and our ecosystems healthier."

Hay River North

Simpson suggested to Cabin Radio in December that he intends to seek re-election, then confirmed that to NNSL in early July. He told the newspaper more must be done to attract and retain healthcare professionals in Hay River, adding the town's housing shortage is his other main concern.

Hay River South

Schumann, finishing his first term in office, confirmed last fall he intends to seek re-election. He has served as the minister responsible for industry, tourism, investment, and infrastructure.

Inuvik Boot Lake

  • Diane Thom

Thom announced her intention to run on August 14. A self-government negotiator with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Thom intends to focus on strengthening partnerships between community governments and making sure jobs are kept in the Inuvik area.

Inuvik Twin Lakes

  • Sallie Ross

Ross, a member of the Gwich'in Nation with a nursing background, announced her intention to run on August 17. She said her campaign would focus on honesty, respect, and integrity, alongside compassion and care. "I will work to ensure that programs and services are in place that benefit the families and individual residents of the Twin Lakes Riding and, ultimately, Inuvik as a whole," she wrote.

  • Lesa Semmler

Semmler told My Yellowknife Now on June 14 she will stand for election in Inuvik Twin Lakes. She has two decades' experience in nursing and is known for her part in the the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: she was a member of the inquiry's national family advisory circle, and testified regarding the murder of her mother, Joyce.

Kam Lake

  • Abdullah Al-Mahamud

Entrepreneur Al-Mahamud announced his intention to run on August 13. He stated his goals include universal daycare alongside work on affordable housing and renewable energy. "My past experiences in building my business and living in the North have strengthened my understanding of family and cultural values," he wrote.

  • Caitlin Cleveland

Cleveland, a photographer and senior policy analyst, announced her intention to run on July 25. “As a photographer I have spent the last 15 years connecting with northerners about what matters to us: our people, our land, and our future,” she wrote.

Hawkins served three terms as the MLA for Yellowknife Centre, from 2003 to 2015, before losing his seat to Julie Green. He told CKLB on June 27 he intends to stand against Kieron Testart in this fall's election, pledging to help turn around what he calls "a lack of cooperation and teamwork" at the legislature.

Testart, who had already confirmed his intent to run, formally announced his re-election campaign on August 8. "I want to offer more than a list of aspirational statements," he said, offering what he called "a bold northern vision ... [to] create sustainable development and clean growth, support community health and wellness, ensure better public services, and strengthen our democracy." He also told the CBC his idea of a "shared platform" akin to party politics for this election is now dead.

  • Cherish Winsor

Winsor, a single mother of five, announced on August 13 her intention to run in Kam Lake. Currently president of YWCA NWT and the Yellowknife Food Bank, Winsor promoted her mining background and desire for the NWT to "invest in this industry through strategic infrastructure, exploration, and innovative technologies."

Mackenzie Delta

Blake confirmed to Cabin Radio on July 11 he intends to stand for re-election for a third term representing Aklavik, Fort McPherson, and Tsiigehtchic. He says lack of housing remains a significant issue for his district, and he wants to see the Mackenzie Valley Highway built to Inuvik as soon as possible.


Lafferty, the NWT's Speaker of the House since 2015, told Cabin Radio by email on August 14 he intends to stand for re-election in Monfwi. "I’m definitely running again," he said, promising a more detailed campaign statement at a later date.


Thompson announced in the legislature on June 6 his intention to seek re-election, as he finishes his first term in office. He said he is trying to fix a government that, in his words, gets "caught up in an endless cycle of studying a problem but never getting around to fixing it."


  • Alisa Blake

Blake, a dog musher and mine safety trainer, announced her intention to run on August 10. She pledged to tackle constituents' concerns about the "poor state and lack of adequate housing" as well as what she called a "substandard healthcare system."

Nakimayak told Cabin Radio on July 11 of his intention to stand for re-election. He points to his handling of the barge resupply crisis, late in his first term, as evidence of his ability to work well with government leaders at all levels. In a second term, Nakimayak said he would work to make medical travel policies better serve constituents.

  • Annie Steen

Steen, from Tuktoyaktuk, has a background in tourism, transportation and logistics, and government. She declared her intention to run for office on July 18. Steen told Cabin Radio she has "a strong understanding of the community and human challenges" in the Nunakput district's communities.

Range Lake

Cochrane, finishing her first term, told Radio-Canada on June 28 she intends to seek re-election – saying changing government takes time, and she still has work to do. She has served as the minister responsible for education, culture, employment, and the status of women.

  • Hughie Graham

Graham, a public servant, announced on August 1 his intention to run in Range Lake. “Collaboration and communication are two key pillars in my campaign," wrote Graham in a news release. "I don't see enough of either."


McNeely, completing his first term in office, announced on June 23 he will seek re-election this fall. "This past four-year term, on some issues, is hardly long enough to address the need or improvements for programs, services, and capital for the residents of the Sahtu," he said.


Sebert, currently best-known as the justice minister, told Cabin Radio on August 6 he intended to seek re-election. Outlining his platform, Sebert gave the clearest indication yet of his belief that Aurora College, and its polytechnic university successor, must remain headquartered in Fort Smith.

  • Denise Yuhas

Yuhas, who served as constituency assistant to longtime Thebacha MLA Michael Miltenberger, told Cabin Radio on July 11 of her intention to run. She said the region needs an MLA "who will listen, communicate, and deliver," and pointed to her volunteer record in Fort Smith as proof of her "capacity to reach out and bring people together."

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh

  • Paul Betsina

Betsina, a Ndilo councillor and former welder who works for the Det'on Cho Chorporation, announced his intention to run on August 15. Betsina pledged to focus on growing the NWT's economy, caring for the land, and tackling what he said were communities "desperately short of housing."

  • Nadine Delorme

Delorme, a Sixties Scoop survivor, announced her intention to run in a Facebook live video in early July. She said frustrating at housing problems had spurred her decision to stand, while listing child welfare and the issue of dogs in communities as other concerns on which she would campaign.

  • Steve Norn

Norn, a former RCMP officer who was born in Fort Resolution, announced his intention to run to Cabin Radio on July 10. He says he wants to target the district's younger voters, and promised to work on issues such as housing and employment as nearby diamond mines edge toward closure.

  • Tom Beaulieu, elected to the old Tu Nedhé district in 2007 – which became Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh in 2015 – has announced he will not seek re-election.

Yellowknife Centre

Green, first elected in 2015, announced on June 20 her intention to seek re-election this fall. She said her priorities will include "fighting government fee and rate increases," making clean energy investments more affordable, and increasing investment in tourism, fisheries, agriculture, manufacturing, and construction.

  • Arlene Hache

Hache, a longtime NWT champion of social justice, announced her intention to run on July 29. She intends to focus on downtown violence and safety. "Not only have I dedicated my life to working with Yellowknife's street-entrenched community, I myself lived on the streets of Yellowknife," she said. "I know what it takes to help people lift themselves out of poverty and regain their sense of self-worth."

Yellowknife North

  • Rylund Johnson

Johnson, a lawyer and co-founder of non-profit Makerspace YK, announced on June 30 he intends to stand in Yellowknife North. He listed reduction of harm to the most vulnerable, equality of opportunity, economic diversification, "northern unity," and "removing barriers to investment" as components of his vision for the territory.

Former Yellowknife city councillor Vanthuyne, completing his first term, announced on June 10 his intention to seek re-election. He told residents he is working to "stay focused on the long-term benefits for our territory and not be swayed by the reactions of the moment."

Yellowknife South

  • Gaeleen MacPherson

Dominion Diamond Mines executive MacPherson announced her intention to run on August 20, saying it was "critical we take action" on the economy before the NWT's two largest mines close. MacPherson wants taxes to be re-examined, education overhauled, and "seasonal low periods" in tourism explored to maximize the economic benefits.

  • Caroline Wawzonek

Caroline Wawzonek told Cabin Radio on May 1 she intends to run in Yellowknife South, current district of Premier Bob McLeod – who has yet to announce whether he will seek re-election. Lawyer Wawzonek said she wants to help the NWT strike a balance between fostering its resource-based economy and mitigating the impacts of climate change, while working to improve mental health aftercare and develop the new polytechnic.