Kieron Testart has dropped out of the race to become the territory’s next MP.
In a press release issued Thursday, Testart says he’s withdrawing his bid to become the Liberal nominee for the NWT in the upcoming federal election. In the same statement, he also announced his support for fellow Liberal Michael McLeod, who entered the race last week.
“This last year has been an incredible journey for me and I am grateful to all those who have been there at my side working to make Canada and the Northwest Territories a better place,” said Testart in a statement.
“Together, we have brought affordability, opportunity, and leadership to the forefront of political discussion here in the NWT.
“Though we have accomplished so much, with less than 100 days until the election it is time for decisive action to ensure that local Liberals are united behind a strong candidate who will be our next Member of Parliament.
“Therefore, I am announcing my withdrawal from the nomination contest and placing my support behind the candidacy of Michael McLeod.”
Testart, who works as a policy analyst for the NWT’s Department of Justice, believes McLeod is the best choice to represent the Liberal party and the territory.
“Michael has proven his dedication to Northerners and, like me, shares Justin Trudeau’s vision for Canada.
“I am encouraging all Liberals to join me in supporting Michael McLeod and working with him to ensure our success in the fall election.”
McLeod joined the race to become the territory’s next MP last week. At the time he told Moose FM he wants to be a “serious player” in a Liberal government helmed by Justin Trudeau.
The former Deh Cho MLA will look to earn the Liberal nomination over Gail Cyr, who announced her candidacy in January.
Floyd Roland is standing as the Conservative candidate; incumbent MP Dennis Bevington is set to stand again for the New Democrats.
On Wednesday, CBC News reported that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will call an election as early as Sunday. The election is generally considered to be set for October 19.
Testart to “explore other opportunities”?
Federal politics might not be for Testart right now, but that doesn’t mean he won’t explore other political avenues in future.
Testart stopped short of saying he’d consider running in the upcoming territorial election, but he didn’t exactly rule out the idea either.
“It is of course a year of great opportunity in politics with three elections,” he told us.
“I’m looking forward to exploring those opportunities and seeing if there’s a future in some other political avenue for me.
“My team and I are very interested in looking at how we can give back to the North and how I can serve in public life and make a difference for Northerners.”