As soon as the federal election wrapped up Sept. 20, Nunavut turned its attention to the Oct. 25 territorial election.
Twenty-two ridings will elect MLAs, who will then choose a premier and cabinet ministers.
The declaration of candidacy period opened Monday and closes Friday. Many incumbent MLAs and aspiring MLAs have already put their names forward to Elections Nunavut.
Among them are Nunavut's outgoing premier, Joe Savikataaq, who has said he will run again in the riding of Arviat South.
Speaking in the Nunavut Legislature on Sept. 15, Savikataaq said he would not rule out serving another term as premier, should "the fine voters of Arviat be willing, and the new MLAs that will be elected willing."
Majority of MLAs want to return
In all, 16 current MLAs have said they intend to run again. They are:
Patterk Netser (Aivilik)
Joelie Kaernerk (Amittuq)
John Main (Arviat North-Whale Cove)
Craig Simailak (Baker Lake)
Jeannie Ehaloak (Cambridge Bay)
Tony Akoak (Gjoa Haven)
Adam Arreak Lightstone (Iqaluit Manirajak)
George Hickes (Iqaluit Tasiluk)
Calvin Pedersen (Kugluktuk)
Emiliano Qirngnuq (Netsilik)
Margaret Nakashuk (Pangnirtung)
David Akeeagok (Quttiktuq)
Cathy Towtongie (Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet)
Lorne Kusugak Rankin Inlet South)
David Joanasie (South Baffin)
David Qamaniq (Tununiq)
Three MLAs have said they will not be putting their names forward: Allan Rumbolt, who served as MLA for Hudson Bay for 13 years; the MLA for Uqqummiut, Pauloosie Keyootak; and the MLA for Iqaluit-Sinaa, Elisapee Sheutiapik.
Deputy mayor, QIA president file papers
Many aspiring MLAs announced their intentions to run before the closing date for the filing of nomination papers.
They include, among others, Janet Pitsiualaq Brewster, the deputy mayor of Iqaluit.
Brewster said on social media that she is excited to be running in her home riding of Iqaluit-Sinaa.
PJ Akeeagok, the two-term president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association who resigned in August, is running to become the new MLA in Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu.
That is the seat previously filled by his aunt, Pat Angnakak, who resigned as MLA to run for the Liberals in the recent federal election.
Jeff Ungalaq Maurice has also submitted his nomination papers for Iqaluit-Sinaa.
In Cambridge Bay, Pamela Gross resigned as mayor to run in the election. In 2017, Gross lost narrowly to the incumbent, Jeannie Ehaloak.
Also putting his name forward in Cambridge Bay is Peter Ohokak.
According to Elections Nunavut, the following had also submitted nomination papers as of Sept. 22:
Paul Tunik Puqiqnak
Jonathan Chul-Hee Min Park
Rankin Inlet North
To file as candidates, they provided a $200 deposit to Elections Nunavut with their signed declaration of candidacy.
In 2017, during the last territorial election, 72 candidates vied for a seat in Nunavut Legislature.