Robert Hawkins, the MLA for Yellowknife Centre, has dropped his plans to run for federal office.

Hawkins had been preparing to campaign against Gail Cyr and Kieron Testart for the Liberal nomination ahead of this October’s federal election.

However, in a brief news release on Thursday afternoon, Hawkins said he no longer hoped to become the territory’s next MP, and would instead run for a fourth term as a territorial MLA.

“MLA Hawkins has withdrawn his interest in the nomination and will continue to focus his work on the issues that matter most to the constituents of Yellowknife Centre and the everyday northern family,” read a release issued on his behalf.

The territorial election date was changed this week. It will now take place on November 23 to avoid a clash with the federal election period.