Kevin O’Reilly and Cory Vanthuyne are set to be confirmed as the new MLAs for Frame Lake and Yellowknife North respectively.
Both were vacant seats. Wendy Bisaro stepped down as MLA for Frame Lake, while Yellowknife North was carved from part of the old Weledeh riding, vacated by Bob Bromley.
Unofficial results had O’Reilly on 156 votes in Frame Lake, 15 ahead of second-placed Jan Fullerton on 141. In a tightly contested riding, third-placed David Wasylciw polled 132 votes and Roy Erasmus took 117.
“There’s lots of work ahead,” O’Reilly told Moose FM. “I look forward to working with a bunch of new MLAs. There’s a feeling of change in the air – hope and expectation of bigger and better things for the Northwest Territories.
“I was very pleased with the work that Wendy Bisaro did and I hope to carry forward a number of the initiatives she started. I’d like to pick up and see through her draft legislation for an ombudsman.
“I expect to be a voice for accountability and transparency. I’ve got a strong interest in the environment. My track record shows I come prepared to do the work and make a contribution. I have lots of ideas and I look forward to working with people outside of Yellowknife for the greater good of the NWT.”
In Yellowknife North, Vanthuyne appeared to have taken the riding by 16 votes from fellow former city councillor Dan Wong.
Vanthuyne (392 votes, unofficially) and Wong (376) were some distance ahead of Ben Nind in third with 189 votes. Edwin Castillo polled 127 votes with Sean Erasmus receiving 12 votes.
“I’m ecstatic. To get the final result is an incredible sensation. It’s been a lot of hard work,” Vanthuyne told Moose FM.
“I have to commend Bob Bromley. He was a tremendous MLA that I know was very popular and represented everybody very well. I’m honoured to be able to fill those shoes.
“I’m somebody who has grown up in this riding, I’m a 40-year resident of the North, and I feel my experience is going to really lend well to serving the residents.”