Plenty of new faces among mayors elected across Nunavut Monday night
At least five incumbents lose their bids for re-election
This story was updated on Tuesday Oct. 24 at 12:40 p.m. ET
It was a great night for new mayors across Nunavut, while many incumbents struggled to get re-elected in the 2023 municipal elections.
By 12:45 a.m. eastern time Tuesday, 22 communities had posted unofficial results in their mayoral races. At least five incumbent mayors were defeated in their attempts to get re-elected.
Whale Cove has elected Oliver Shipton as its new mayor, in a two-way race that saw him defeat his fellow search-and-rescue team member Gerard Maktar.
“I just think it’s a great honour to be elected mayor and have the majority vote,” Shipton said in an interview Monday night.
“I’m happy that I get to be a part of Whale Cove’s growth and to make positive changes.”
Shipton moved to the community three years ago and told Nunatsiaq News his priority as mayor is to reopen the hamlet’s arena.
“I’m really excited to start,” he said.
In other election night results, Rankin Inlet’s Mayor Harry Towtongie was re-elected, but with 183 votes only five votes separated him from challenger Megan Pizzo-Lyall, who received 178 votes.
Towtongie said that if a recount confirms confirms his victory, winning the race to be mayor “feels good. [I’m] thankful to my family and supporters, and good job Megan.”
Yet another mayoral win went to a newcomer over the incumbent, this time in Chesterfield Inlet which elected Simionie Sammurtok. Incumbent Anthony Amauyak came second in the results and deputy mayor Mary Ann Issaluk came in third place.
Gjoa Haven joins the list of communities with new mayors, having elected challenger Raymond Quqshuun Sr. over incumbent Mayor Megan Porter. Quqshuun is employed as a teacher at Qiqirtaq High School.
Former classmates Lenny Panigayak and John Charles Pizzo-Lyall went head-to-head in the mayor’s race in Taloyoak, with Panigayak receiving the most votes to become the new mayor over incumbent Pizzo-Lyall.
Panigayak has prior councillor experience and also boasts more than 32,000 followers on TikTok.
In Baker Lake, Kevin Iksiktaaryuk’s second campaign to be elected mayor proved successful Monday, with the hamlet electing him to the role over challenger James Taipana.
Iksiktaaryuk previously was a councillor from 2017-2019 and has experience serving on various local committees.
Lifelong Pangnirtung resident Lynn Meeka Mike has been elected the hamlet’s new mayor.
She handily topped challenger Stevie Komoartok in a two-way race to replace Eric Lawlor, who did not run again. Earlier this month, Mike told Nunatsiaq News she wants to bring in better waste management and beautify the community.
Kevin Tegumiar has been elected mayor of Naujaat, beating out incumbent Mayor Alan Robinson and challenger Joseph Sivanertok in a three-way race.
Igloolik has elected a new mayor. In the hamlet’s battle of the Georges, artist George Auksaq received 85 votes for mayor while George Qattalik got 83 and incumbent Erasmus Ivvalu finished a distant third, with 29 votes.
Elections Nunavut did an administrative recount Monday night, which it’s required to do when there’s a difference of less than five votes.
Joshua Arreak was re-elected mayor of Pond Inlet on Monday night, to serve his third term as mayor.
Arreak defeated competitor David Qamaniq, himself a former mayor of the hamlet, in a two-way race.
Resolute Bay will have a new mayor, after voters elected businessman Aziz Kheraj on Monday night over incumbent Mayor Mark Amarualik and competitor Mike Stephens.
Kheraj is now mayor for a second time, having previously held the role from 2000 to 2001.
Nunavut’s smallest community was first to report its results at 7:55 p.m. as voters across the territory went to the polls.
Grise Fiord re-elected incumbent Mayor Meeka Kiguktak over challenger Jaypetee Peter in a two-way race.
That was followed just minutes later by Arctic Bay where voters elected hamlet councilor Olayuk Naqitarvik as mayor, winning over deputy mayor Frank May.
Mayors were acclaimed in seven hamlets: Arviat, Clyde River, Coral Harbour, Kimmirut, Kinngait, Kugaaruk and Qikiqtarjuaq.
Voter turnout in races for mayor ranged from 23.8 per cent in Arctic Bay and 26.4 per cent in Igloolik to 63.8 per cent in Resolute Bay and 69.4 per cent in Grise Fiord.
In three communities, some races will be decided in elections later on. Sanikiluaq’s mayor’s race will be held on Oct. 30 because a second call for candidates had to be made when no one came forward to run by the Sept. 22 deadline.
The same thing happened in Kinngait’s district education authority race, which will be held Oct. 30. And in Gjoa Haven, the election for councilors will be held Nov. 20.
Here are unofficial results from mayoral races that were posted on Elections Nunavut’s website Monday night.
Arctic Bay — Olayuk Naqitarvik, 63; Frank May 33.
Arviat — Joe Savikataaq Jr. (acclaimed)
Baker Lake — Kevin Iksiktaaryuk, 226; James Taipana, 129.
Cambridge Bay — Wayne Gregory, 202; Derek Elias, 181; Charles Zikalala, 31.
Chesterfield Inlet — Simionie Sammurtok, 45; Tony Amauyak, 34; Mary Ann Issaluk, 25.
Clyde River — Liemikie Palluq (acclaimed).
Coral Harbour — Kupapkik Ningeocheak (acclaimed).
Gjoa Haven — Raymond Quqshuun Sr., 258; Megan Porter, 139.
Grise Fiord — Meeka Kiguktak, 27; Jaypetee Peter, 16.
Igloolik — George Auksaq, 85; George Qattalik, 83, Erasmus Ivvalu, 29.
Iqaluit — Solomon Awa, 1,077; Vincent Yvon, 171; Lili Weemen, 90.
Kimmirut — Maliktoo Lyta (acclaimed).
Kinngait — Jimmy Manning (acclaimed).
Kugaaruk — Teddy Apsaktaun (acclaimed).
Kugluktuk — Ryan Nivingalok, 168; Simon Kuliktana, 75; Helen Qimnik Klengenberg, 52; David Ho, 42; Phillip Evaglok, 7.
Naujaat — Kevin Tegumiar, 97; Joseph Sivanertok, 24; Alan Robinson, 15.
Pangnirtung — Lynn Meeka Mike, 230; Stevie Komoartok, 74.
Pond Inlet — Joshua Arreak, 161; David Qamaniq, 86.
Qikiqtarjuaq — Daisy Arnaquq (acclaimed).
Rankin Inlet — Harry Towtongie, 183; Megan Pizzo-Lyall, 178.
Resolute Bay — Aziz Kheraj, 35; Mark Amarualik, 18; Mike Stephens, 6.
Sanikiluaq — (Oct. 30 election)
Sanirajak — (Tie) Ammie H. Kipsigak, 57; Philip Anguratsiaq, 57; Jason Kaernerk, 33; David Curley, 24.
Taloyoak — Lenny Panigayak, 117; John-Charles Pizzo-Lyall, 80.
Whale Cove — Oliver Shipton, 67; Gerard Maktar, 46.
Note: This article has been updated to reflect information that came in overnight for Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk and Sanirajak, and to correct the number of votes received by Olayuk Naqitarvik in Arctic Bay