Caitlin Cleveland has been elected MLA for Kam Lake, ousting incumbent Kieron Testart.
Cleveland, an entrepreneur and policy analyst, received 262 votes, 38 more than runner-up Robert Hawkins, who pulled in a total of 224.
Cleveland and Hawkins were followed by Testart with 220 votes, and Rommel Silverio, who garnered 125 votes from Kam Lake residents.
Al-Mahamud, Abdullah and Cherish Winsor received the fewest vote, with 63 and 61 respectively.
The six candidates made up Yellowknife’s most crowded electoral district in a race.
Cleveland faced stiff competition: an incumbent, a former three-term MLA and a current city councillor.
With women playing a greater role in territorial politics, she said he’s very proud to be part of his this assembly. “It’s incredible that it happened organically, and I think it’s exciting we’re going to have them in the Legislative Assembly,” said Cleveland.
Cleveland did not host a formal election function Tuesday night, instead opting to stay at home and celebrate her partner’s birthday.
Yellowknifer spoke with the newly-elected MLA shortly after she heard the exciting news.
“I am feeling for incredibly thankful to the people of Kama Lake, the volunteers who helped me out. It’s definitely been quite the journey, said Cleveland.
“It was’t just one team running it all; campaigning is a lot of work and as I campaigner it was a larger than I ever envisioned.”
During her campaign run – which focused on the people and prosperity of the North – Cleveland, a lifelong resident of the North and a Kam Lake resident, called for the basic needs of Northerners to be met, from food security and reliable jobs to affordable housing.
The cost of living and high energy costs – hot-button topics across all Yellowknife districts – came up time and time again during a number of Kam Lake all-candidates debates.
Cleveland’s platform pushed for the development of clean energy systems to curb communities’ imported fuel dependency.
To address the root causes of homelessness and addiction, another issue raised throughout the campaign from Kam Lake candidates and residents alike, Cleveland proposed developing an integrated support system of preventative care that would include health and education, housing and income support.