Three of the longest serving politicians in the territory - and the same contenders from the last election race - have thrown their hats in for MLA of Thebacha again.
Incumbent Michael Miltenberger, former Fort Smith mayor Peter Martselos and former MLA and cabinet minister Jeannie Marie-Jewell will meet again on the ballots of Thebacha residents in three weeks on election day.
Miltenberger brings with him 16 years sixteen years in the legislative assembly, holding cabinet positions in each one. In the last assembly, he was appointed Deputy Premier, as well as minister of three major portfolios, environment, health and finance. Those four assemblies Miltenberger served in he established a thick portfolio of legislation, on everything from midwifery to the heritage fund.
Miltenberger he is not without high-profile competitors, however. His contenders, Jeannie Marie-Jewell and Peter Martselos, both bring a long history of political experience, along with loyal supporters, with them.
Marie-Jewell served as the first woman speaker of the House during her eight years as MLA. She held numerous cabinet minister positions, from social services to personnel. She also has years of band politics experience, currently sitting as a councilor for Salt River First Nation.
Marselos served 24 years in municipal politics, 12 of which were spent as mayor of Fort Smith. He also has business experience, having spent the last 42 years in Fort Smith in private enterprise.
He was Miltenberger’s main rival during the last election, losing by fewer than 100 votes.
This is the sixth time Miltenberger and Marie-Jewell will face off, and the second time Martselos will join in. The three will go head-to-head at the All Candidates Forum for the Thebacha region on the evening of September 19 at the Fort Smith Recreation and Community Centre.
In the 2007 election, Miltenberger won with 531 votes, compared to 444 for Martselos and 197 for Marie-Jewell. Voter turnout was 82 per cent.