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KIA could be hottest election on the horizon

While most of the attention has been focused on the three candidates for Nunavut’s sole seat in the upcoming federal election, there is just as much intrigue brewing closer to home in the upcoming municipal elections.

It will be interesting to see if the Kivalliq’s longest-serving mayor – Arviat Mayor Bob Leonard – can, once again, hold off all those who would challenge him (this time out it’s Airo Pameolik and Alex Ishalook).

Leonard has been the model of consistency for a long period of time in Arviat and should still have strong community support when it’s time for ballots to be cast.

Ditto Stanley Adjuk in Whale Cove who, with seven consecutive years as mayor in Whale, looks to break the decade mark with another election win. He is being challenged by Percy Kabloona.

Rankin Inlet could be extremely interesting with, in my opinion, two class acts in Levinia Brown and Harry Towtongie vying for the position left vacant with the passing of longtime mayor Robert Janes.

Both Brown and Towtongie have extensive political experience, and both candidates are highly regarded in the community. They both have their own strengths and weaknesses and they both have a solid base of support behind them. They both know what it’s like to sit in the two highest chairs in the hamlet council chambers.

But in the election that will prove itself the most hotly contested, with quite possibly more than a trickle of bad blood bubbling below the surface – we won’t know who the official candidates are until the nomination period officially ends on Nov. 4, just a little more than a month away from the Dec. 9 election date, and that is for the presidency of the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA).

For a long period of time, David Ningeongan was adamant he would not run again in this election after taking a battering on social media that suggested personal gain was the motivation behind his run as KIA president.

Ningeongan has since had a change of heart and is expected to throw his ulu into the ring once again this time out.

Having followed the issues surrounding Ningeongan , I felt he had a clear vision moving forward and was willing to take the bumps often necessary for those in positions of power and/or influence to absorb in order to obtain the goals they set for themselves, which they see as, ultimately, advancing the common good.

And that can be especially intense when the leader is often driven to aim high and is not worried about thinking a little outside of the box to make things happen.

The old regional cries of, “But that’s the way we’ve always done it,” do not necessarily mean the old way was the right way, nor do they mean a sitting president has to operate within the parameters set by those who came before him.

Maintaining the status quo is definitely not the mantra of those looking to accomplish bigger-and-better things in the time allotted to them in office or a position.

Yes, Ningeongan can sometimes be a polarizing figure, but when one looks at the lineage of those who occupied the position before him, that is the rule of the KIA president, not the exception.

It will be more than a little intriguing to see the candidates unveiled who will be running against him, and the KIA election promises to be fraught with competitiveness and emotion.