Aside from the party leaders — NDP Leader Greg Selinger, PC Leader Brian Pallister, Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari and Green Party Leader James Beddome — there are a number of candidates to keep an eye on as Manitobans head to the polls on April 19.
Here are CBC Manitoba's picks for candidates to watch on election night.
Wab Kinew – NDP – Fort Rouge
Wab Kinew is a former broadcaster, Canada Reads host, author, university administrator and rapper. He has had a rocky campaign during which he had to defend himself for his use of misogynistic and homophobic language in his rap lyrics as well as on his Twitter accounts. Kinew is running against Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari and PC spokesperson Audrey Gordon.
Kerri Irvin-Ross – NDP – Fort Richmond
Kerri Irvin-Ross has held the constituency for the last 13 years (as Fort Garry and later as Fort Richmond). She has held the difficult portfolio of minister of family services since 2013. A loss in Fort Richmond would be big for the NDP. Irvin-Ross is running against the PCs' Sarah Guillemard, the Liberals' Kyra Wilson and the Green Party's Cameron Proulx.
Sharon Blady – NDP – Kirkfield Park
Voters will watch closely to see whether Sharon Blady is re-elected in Kirkfield Park. In 2011 it was a tight race that Blady won by only 21 votes. She was expected to lose that election and was later appointed health minister, a high-profile portfolio. Blady is the spokesperson for the NDP and has been a strong campaigner, but Kirkfield Park is typically a Conservative-held constituency. The former leader of the PCs held the seat prior to Blady.
This time around, Blady is running against former city councillor Scott Fielding, the PC candidate. He won two terms as a city councillor, was a member of the former mayor's executive policy committee and was once the chair of the Winnipeg Police Board.
Also running in Kirkfield Park is Liberal Kelly Nord and the Green Party's Lisa Omand.
Nahanni Fontaine – NDP – St. Johns
Nahani Fontaine is a longtime advocate for an inquiry into murdered and missing indigenous women and girls.
She's filling big shoes for outgoing Gord Mackintosh, who has served for more than a decade as St. Johns MLA. He has also had several high profile ministries, including Family Services and Justice.
Fontaine, status Ojibwa from Sagkeeng First Nation, is serving as the special adviser on aboriginal women's issues for Manitoba's Aboriginal Issues Committee of Cabinet.
If Fontaine were to lose, it would be a big miss for the NDP.
Peter Chura – Liberal – Seine River
Peter Chura was a TV anchor and producer at Global Winnipeg until September. Soon after, he announced he was running for the Liberals in Seine River, making him one of the more high-profile candidates the Liberals have. He has no other political experience and has run a low-profile campaign.
Jon Gerrard – Liberal – River Heights
Jon Gerrard is the only incumbent Liberal MLA and is the former leader of the Manitoba Liberals.
He has won the River Heights seat every election since 1999. He was previously an MP and is a physician and researcher.
He stepped down as leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party in 2013. Rana Bokhari is now Manitoba's Liberal leader.
Althea Guiboche – Liberal – Point Douglas
Althea Guiboche is an anti-poverty activist who is well-known in the community as "the Bannock Lady." Guiboche cooks up and serves large batches of bannock to the homeless and those in need in the North End of Winnipeg. Guiboche says she herself lived in poverty for long periods of time. She's running against incumbent NDP candidate Kevin Chief. Chief was a relatively high profile NDP MLA and was the minister of children and youth opportunities.
Cindy Lamoureux – Liberal – Burrows
Cindy Lamoureux is the daughter of longtime Liberal MLA and MP Kevin Lamoureux. Kevin was elected as an MLA in 1988 and as an MP in 2010. He is known for being tightly connected to his constituency and riding — sitting at McDonald's every Saturday to meet people in his area.
Cindy, who is running for the first time, is a young community activist who has promised she will be as accessible as her dad. She's going up against NDP incumbent Melanie Wight, who won the constituency in 2011.
Steven Fletcher – PC – Assiniboia
Steven Fletcher suffered a stunning loss to the Liberals in the last federal election. Fletcher was an MP from 2004 to 2015 for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, and during that time, a cabinet minister. He was the first quadriplegic elected to Parliament. He is vocal about assisted suicide, which was unpopular with former prime minister Stephen Harper. Fletcher is running in a constituency long held by the NDP.
Former cabinet minister Jim Rondeau held the seat from 1999 until now. He announced in 2015 he would not run in April's election. Fletcher is running against the Liberals' Ian McCausland, a well-known photographer, the NDP's Joe McKellep and the Green Party's Ileana Ohlsson.
Scott Fielding – PC – Kirkfield Park
Scott Fielding is a former city councillor in St. James who won two terms (in 2006 and 2010.) He was outspoken and quit embattled former mayor Sam Katz's executive policy committee. He was also former chair of the Winnipeg Police Board. He will try to win the seat from NDP incumbent Sharon Blady, who has become a high-profile member of the party. She has been the province's minister of health since 2014.
Audrey Gordon – PC – Fort Rouge
Audrey Gordon will take on two juggernauts on April 19. She's running against Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari and the NDP's high profile candidate Wab Kinew, who is a former broadcaster and rapper. Gordon hasn't received as much negative media attention as Kinew and Bokhari, and has acted as the spokesperson for the PCs' campaign. Gordon was once aligned with the NDP and has also been a civil servant for 30 years in the area of health care.
Jeannette Montufar – PC – Fort Garry/Riverview
Jeannette Montufar is taking on NDP candidate James Allum, and a loss for the NDP in this riding would be a big defeat. Allum was first elected in 2011 and was appointed minister of education two years later. Montufar is a high profile candidate and professor of civil engineering at the University of Manitoba. She's done extensive work on pedestrian safety and is a small business owner.