Rocky Simpson beats Wally Schumann in Hay River South

Last modified: October 2, 2019 at 2:52am

In Hay River, a father and son – Rocky and RJ Simpson – are to be the town’s two MLAs for the next four years.

Rocky beat incumbent MLA Wally Schumann by nearly 30 votes in Hay River South on Tuesday evening. Unofficial results showed Schumann with 322 votes to the elder Simpson’s 350.

RJ Simpson was acclaimed in Hay River North.


“It feels good,” Rocky told Cabin Radio when asked how it felt to win against the Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Investment. He said healthcare, the economy, and housing were among his top priorities.

“Wally did what he thought was best and I hope to take a different approach,” said Simpson, explaining his campaign approach was to go door-to-door and listen to what the people wanted to see.

How he will tackle the major issues in Hay River is still up in the air, however.

“I just want to talk to people a little bit more about it,” he said, explaining that he needs to sit down and consult with the MLA for Hay River North – his son – and make a plan. He’d also like to work more closely with the Town of Hay River to find solutions, he said.


Schumann loses Hay River South seat

Schumann, a likely frontrunner for the job of premier had he been re-elected, is no longer sure where his future lies.

The 34-year Hay River resident, who is in the process of selling his business, said he might consider retirement. 

“I want to thank the residents of Hay River for letting me represent them for the last four years, and good luck with the next four years,” he said. 

Schumann pointed to a number of infrastructure projects he’s particularly proud of. The ability of the 18th Assembly to secure federal funding means these projects will continue, Schumann said, no matter who gets into office across the territory.

“The Taltson project, Slave Geological, the Whati road, the Mackenzie Valley Highway,” he listed. 


“There’s a number of things that are going to continue to move on, no matter who’s there. And I’m just glad to be part of it and secure that money.”