NDP candidate Nathaniel Teed scored a resounding victory in the Saskatoon Meewasin byelection on Monday.
Teed received almost 57 per cent of the vote, beating four other candidates to win the riding previously held by former NDP leader Ryan Meili.
Teed will now sit in the provincial legislature on the Opposition bench beside 11 of his NDP colleagues.
The ruling Saskatchewan Party holds 48 seats and an independent holds one seat.
Teed is a former educational assistant and co-owns a furniture and design store in downtown Saskatoon.
Teed, a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, said he hopes to represent them in the legislature. In addition, he plans to advocate for more education funding and smaller class sizes.
With all 53 polls reporting, Teed had received 2,624 votes.
"Folks were excited about our message and they were resonating with what we were saying.
"The key issues for folks in this election were health care, education and affordability," Teed said. "As a former teacher, education is really close to my heart. This election is our build toward 2024."
Teed is the first openly gay elected MLA in Saskatchewn.
I think it's a really big win for representation and diverse voices in Saskatchewan," Teed said. "I think it will continue to open the door to ensure that our legislature is representative of the people it serves."
NDP Opposition Leader Carla Beck said they were able to connect with voters.
"We're determined to continue this work, to continue building, continue with this momentum and you know, that's certainly my job and and the the the MLA's," Beck said.
"What we're hearing more and more is this is a government that has stopped listening. They've grown out of touch."
Sask. Party candidate Kim Groff, who ran on giving residents a voice in government, was second with 1,712 votes, 37 per cent.
Provincial Liberal Leader Jeff Walters was a distant third with 118 votes. Buffalo Party candidate Mark Friesen was fourth with 112 votes and Jacklin Andrews of the Green Party was fifth with 56.
About 4,627 of 12,292 registered voters cast ballots in the byelection.
"It was a decisive outcome," Walters said in a statement congratulating Teed.
"Congratulations to him, I am sure he will be a welcome voice in the provincial legislature."
The byelection was called on Aug. 29 after Meili announced his plan to step down as the party's leader in February.