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Tuesday August 4 2015 11 POLITICS FEDERAL A BIG THANK YOUand congratulations to all organizers participants volunteers and sponsors for your contributions to the 2015 Paddlefest WALLYS Drugs Pharmacy . Souvenirs . Magazines . Newspapers Toys . Cards . Stationery . Lottery Ticket Centre Monday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday CLOSED 867 872-213468 Breynat St. Fort Smith By MEAGAN WOHLBERG And then there were two. Western Arctic Liberal Association presi- dent Kieron Testart dropped out of the race for the federal Liberal nomination in the NWT last week throwing his support behind recent joiner Michael McLeod. McLeod a former MLA and brother to the NWT premier who announced his can- didacy only two weeks ago now faces just one challenger for the shot at MP Gail Cyr of Yellowknife. It wasnt an easy decision but we are liter- ally days away from a federal election call and now is the time for unity and the time to put all the goals behind a strong candidate who can defeat Stephen Harper and bring about that real change that Northerners are looking for Testart told the Journal on Thursday. Testart said it was clear McLeod came into the race with a great deal of support behind him making him a major contender. I support Michael in that role. I think hes the best positioned based on his connections with indigenous people in government and the non-indigenous people as well his deep understanding of territorial issues and his track record as someone whos effective at delivering on those issues and making a real difference in peoples lives. McLeod said he only recently met Testart but was impressed by his personable nature and knowledge of the issues. He said the two share the same vision for the North. Im very honoured that someone would step down to support me McLeod said. Its something Im sure wasnt easy so Im very thankful to him. Going forward Testart said he would con- tinue to be involved in politics and the pub- lic service though in what capacity is yet to be determined. It is a year of three elections and there are many opportunities to give back to public life in the Northwest Territories which is of course my objective he said. Ive heard loud and clear what the issues Northerners are most passionate about the challenges that Northerners are strug- gling with and I want to take action and make a difference - a positive difference. Im looking at opportunities to find a way to do that. McLeod said he would welcome Tes- tart to his team especially in the area of media relations. He has good contacts here and in Ottawa and good ideas McLeod said. Hes a smart guy young and I can tell hes going to have a bright future down the road. Testartisthesecondcandidatetodropoutof the open nominations race for the Liberal MP candidate slot. Earlier this year Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins also withdrew fromthefederalraceandhassinceannounced he will be running for MLA again this fall. Testart withdraws from NWT Liberal nomination race to support McLeod in run for MP Photoscourtesyofthecandidates Michael McLeod left is the latest to enter the race for the federal Liberal Party nomination in the NWT and a shot at MP. Last week Kieron Testart centre announced he would be stepping down to support McLeod. Gail Cyr remains in the race against McLeod. Smiths Landing First Nation would like to thank everyone who worked to make this years Paddlefest a success. Congratulations on another great Paddlefest Congratulations on another great Paddlefest