“Things went a different way,” admitted Robert Hawkins as he conceded defeat to Julie Green in the Yellowknife Centre district on Monday.

Hawkins had been seeking a fourth term as the district’s MLA. Instead, former CBC broadcaster turned social change advocate Green won a heated election contest by 491 votes to 400.

Hawkins declared defeat on Facebook, while Green told Moose FM she timed her run at office well.

“People had seen what Mr Hawkins could deliver, and they were ready to try me out as an alternative,” she said.

“That was part of the change we’ve seen all across the NWT, where long-term MLAs were defeated tonight. My timing was good, people had changed on their mind.”

Green said she was ‘shocked’ by defeats other incumbent members suffered on Monday, including Dave Ramsay and Michael Miltenberger.

“People want new faces and new approaches to the issues that the NWT faces,” she said. “With me they’ll get a lot of heart, a lot of passion, wide-ranging experience and someone who’s a great learner.”

Earlier, Green told the CBC she had endured a “tough fight” against Hawkins over the duration of the campaign.

“He’s known to be a very aggressive campaigner,” she said. “Certainly we were back and forth with the chief electoral officer quite a bit. But we ran a stand-up campaign and people want change.”