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Lesa Semmler has cruised to a convincing victory in Inuvik Twin Lakes.

Securing an early lead, Semmler watched results with bated breath alongside friends and family at her home on Tuesday night. Once the polls closed, guests stepped outside and set off fireworks in celebration as the constituency’s MLA-elect shared hugs and a few words with family.

“I worked hard and the people spoke,” she told Inuvik Drum. “The west end spoke. They voted for me. Now it’s my turn to do what I said I was going to and take care.”

Semmler ran on improving education and health, alongside tackling cost of living and housing. In addition to this, she aims to find “how to help our people with addictions and mental health in our way.”

With those priorities in hand, Semmler enjoys a strong mandate — she garnered 470 votes to Sallie Ross’ 106, and Donald Hendrick’s 41 — which will carry her to an Assembly with several new faces.

“Sometimes changing it up is going to be good. People voted. They voted change, now we got to produce,” she said.

She is also part of a wave of nine women headed to the 19th Assembly — something that didn’t escape her attention during celebrations.

“With a lot more women in there, they’re going to be looking at everything differently. That’s what we wanted. We want to have our voice: women represented in the government, women represented in making decisions, and looks like that’s going to happen.”

“We don’t need token seats. We don’t need to be given seats. We’ll win our seats,” Semmler said.

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Nick Pearce

Nick Pearce is a writer and reporter in Yellowknife, looking for unique stories on the environment and people that make up the North. He's a graduate of Queen's University, where he studied Global Development...

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