Entrepreneur Abdullah Al-Mahamud has announced his intention to run for MLA in Yellowknife's Kam Lake district.
Al-Mahamud joins a crowded roster in a district where three other prospective candidates have announced they plan to run and another is expected to do the same shortly.
Incumbent Kieron Testart, former Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins, and photographer and policy analyst Caitlin Cleveland have declared they are planning to stand in Kam Lake.
If all candidates are nominated and confirmed by Elections NWT by the September 6 deadline, this will be the largest race in Kam Lake in the past 20 years. In 2011, four candidates ran in the district.
Announcing his intention in a news release on Tuesday, Al-Mahamud stated his goals include the implementation of universal daycare as well as work on affordable housing, renewable energy, and entrepreneurship.
Describing himself as an entrepreneur and Yellowknife resident for 14 years, Al-Mahamud said his experience running two Quiznos franchises has prepared him for politics. Al-Mahamud first ran the former Winks (now Circle K) gas station and convenience store in the city before acquiring Quiznos on Old Airport Road in 2009 and a location at Yellowknife's airport three years later.
"My past experiences in building my business and living in the North have strengthened my understanding of family and cultural values toward building a strong and prosperous Kam Lake region," he stated.
Carefully managed finances and fiscal responsibility are also goals for Al-Mahamud. He stated there is a need to "increase efficiency and fiscal responsibility" in Kam Lake, where he lives.
"I will strive to work together to enhance living conditions whereby our children and loved ones can flourish in this vibrant, multicultural Northwest Territories for future generations," he wrote.
Al-Mahamud also advocated for a competitive insurance support program for home, auto, and commercial insurance.
“We are losing a huge amount of money to down south, insurance companies, and we are trying to keep that money in the North so we can fund all our social programs with that money," he wrote.
Al-Mahamud, pointing to models in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, said a government program would be cheaper than private companies motivated by profit.
Cabin Radio will feature extensive interviews with NWT election candidates beginning at the start of September, when nominations officially open. Bookmark our NWT Election 2019 homepage to follow our coverage.