Incumbent candidate Michael Miltenberger was granted a fifth consecutive term as MLA of Thebacha Monday night, winning ahead of Peter Martselos by 100 votes.
Miltenberger got 526 votes to Martselos’ 426, while Jeannie Marie-Jewell was third place with 263 votes. The exact results remain unofficial until verified by Elections NWT.
Thanking his supporters for another successful election, Miltenberger once again announced his intention to put his name forward for premier in the 17th Assembly.
“It’s been an honour and it will continue to be an honour to serve the people of Thebacha,” he said. “You can rest assured I won’t forget who put me here.”
Miltenberger credited his campaign team for the success.
“We’ve had a solid team for 16 years that’s basically stayed intact, which I think has been enormously important for us and allowed us to get election after election, to put our case to the people successfully.”
Miltenberger, was considered a premier prospect throughout the campaign, which could have influenced the vote.
“I think the premier piece was a variable, but I think more importantly people looked at 16 years of good solid service, the fact that I’m a senior minister, deputy premier, and that I have the opportunity to, in fact, carry that on and be considered for premier, as opposed to my opponents who had nothing to offer close to that,” he said. “People obviously took everybody’s measure, and they’ve told us, and now away we go.”
Jeannie Marie-Jewell said she was proud of her campaign and would continue to work as an engaged citizen in the community.
“We ran a clean campaign,” she said. “My workers worked very hard, but it’s obvious Fort Smith doesn’t want any change and I accept that….but I wish him well.”
Voter turnout dropped slightly from last election, with 77 per cent of the electorate casting votes.