For the first time in a decade, residents of Happy Valley-Goose Bay will have to go to the polls to elect a mayor, and they have a choice between two very different candidates.  

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Jamie Snook is a first-time candidate for mayor in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. (CBC)

Newcomer Jamie Snook and former mayor and provincial cabinet minister John Hickey have both thrown their hats into the ring for the job.

Snook has been campaigning all summer, visiting more than 1,600 houses, posting signs, and launching a Facebook page.

"People need to be inspired again and believe that change can happen," said Snook. "And there's a little bit too much apathy in my view. We need to bring people back engaged, good dialogue with people, and there will be a change of attitude in the town."

Hickey a political veteran

Hickey has been involved in politics for 25 years.

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John Hickey has 25 years of experience in municipal and provincial politics. (CBC)

"I'm retired, I've climbed the political mountain, so to speak, and I sat around the cabinet table," said Hickey. "So I'm able to bring a lot of experience of inside government from my knowledge of my time there and contacts I have there."

Hickey said he wants to revive a bid to have an aquatic centre built in the town.

"I have the fire in my belly again, so to speak, to tackle some of the issues of the town and I think the town can certainly use the experience that I have, and I have the time."

Snook, in contrast, is the executive director of the Torngat Secretariat. He's a community volunteer and is raising a young family. 

"I always say that if you want to get something done, ask somebody who's busy," he said.

"I'm not just in this for a race. I'm in this because I'm hoping we can bring balance back to the town."

An advance poll will take place at the Happy Valley-Goose Bay town hall on Sept. 10.

Election day is Sept. 24.