Yukon cabinet minister Doug Graham shelves retirement plans

Two months ago, Doug Graham announced he was through with territorial politics. He's changed his mind.

Graham wants to run again, this time in NDP leader Liz Hanson's riding

Doug Graham is seeking the Yukon Party nomination in Whitehorse Centre. (CBC)

It seems Yukon's education minister isn't quite ready to retire, after all. Doug Graham has announced he's seeking his party's nomination to run this fall in a different riding — Whitehorse Centre.

That would pit him against opposition leader Liz Hanson of the NDP for the seat, as well as Liberal candidate Tamara Goeppel.

Graham has been the Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek North since 2011. Two months ago, he said he was through with territorial politics and wouldn't run in this fall's territorial election "unless something very unusual happens." 

Apparently, something unusual happened.

"I see an opportunity to offer better representation to the residents of downtown," he's quoted saying in a Yukon Party news release on Thursday. 

Graham also pointed to his work as education minister, negotiating education agreements with First Nations, saying "I would like to be part of seeing this work continued."

NDP leader Liz Hanson has been the MLA for Whitehorse Centre since a by-election in 2010. In the 2011 general election, she won 63 per cent of the vote. (CBC)

If he secures the nomination, he'll have a tough fight on his hands — Whitehorse Centre has long been an NDP stronghold.

In 2011, Hanson won the seat for her party with 63 per cent of the vote, more than 300 votes ahead of the Yukon Party's candidate, Marian Horne.

Graham scored a similarly decisive victory in Porter Creek North in 2011, with nearly half the vote. The Yukon Party has now nominated Geraldine Van Bibber to run in that riding.