Yukon’s own Elvis Presley is running for the third time as an independent candidate in Pelly-Nisutlin during this year’s territorial election.
He said he wants to boost tourism in Ross River and help the Yukon adapt to a changing climate.
Presley, born Gilbert Nelles, is 61 years old and said he feels like he’s getting younger all the time.
“I think I can benefit the Yukon still, like I always have,” he said.
Presley has spent the last several years working on Graceland II, a property in Ross River named after his own namesake’s famous home. He sees the property as a major tourist attraction, and it’s central to his campaign.
“It’s like living inside a living energy, spraying from the walls and the ceilings,” he said of the site, which he describes as “more beautiful than the Sistine Chapel.”
Graceland II is certainly striking. The lawn is full of raised beds and whimsical creations made of painted wood. The walls inside the main building are painted in bright colours and covered with artwork.
Presley said there are also several cabins and an underground bunker.
He said tourists have already visited from Germany, Austria and elsewhere in Europe.
“It will benefit all the businesses that are around here. … It just benefits everyone.”
He said he’d also like to start a business bottling water, which would be called Kaska Coolers.
“Water is such an important resource that everybody needs right now on the planet,” he said. “It would create jobs and also it would be something that people would be ready for.”
Presley said he plans to campaign door-to-door, and he wants to show people a DVD he made of Graceland II “to show what is possible when you put your mind to it.”
Presley has run as an independent candidate twice before, in 2011 and 2006. He has finished last both times, with 31 votes in 2011 and 40 votes in 2006.
Pelly-Nisutlin is currently held by Economic Development Minister Stacey Hassard, who garnered 275 votes in the last election.
But Presley does believe he can make a difference through politics.
“Politics is just dealing with people, and I’ve dealt with people my whole life,” he said. “It’s my life, and you might as well benefit people while you’re living.”
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