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: 06:33 MT on July 12, 2019, to add Denise Yuhas in Thebacha.

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

Abernethy, first elected in 2007, told Cabin Radio last fall he intends to seek re-election. He has served as the government house leader and minister responsible for health and social services, seniors, persons with disabilities, and public utilities board.

  • 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."

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

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

Inuvik Twin Lakes

  • 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

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, first elected in 2015, has suggested he will seek re-election in 2019 and will look to coordinate a "shared platform" – not unlike a form of political party – with candidates in other districts.

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.


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


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."


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.

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.


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.


  • 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

  • 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.

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

  • 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.