By Ellen Thompson/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
Chippewa Cree tribal council member John "Chance" Houle unseated incumbent chairman Alvin Windy Boy Sr. in Tuesday's election.
Houle received 727 votes to Windy Boy's 515. In the primary election, Houle had outpolled Windy Boy by a smaller margin of 490-434, when three other candidates were running.
Houle could not be reached for comment today. He campaigned on a platform of accountability.
Windy Boy also could not be reached.
Four people won seats on the tribal council: Brian "Kelly" Eagleman with 779 votes; Kenny Writing Bird, 646; Donovan Stump, 638; and Raymond "Jake" Parker, 620. A total of eight candidates survived the primary election for council.
Parker is the only incumbent.
Stump said he voted for Houle after what he said was a difficult decision.
"I am pretty comfortable with (the people) I'm going in with," Stump said.
Eagleman said the choice for chairman was "difficult for all of us."
The election ended Windy Boy's four-year tenure as chairman. Prior to his time as chair, Windy Boy served for 12 years on the tribal council.
Eagleman attributed his win to positive campaigning.
Writing Bird had placed eighth in the primary election. He said he was not sure about the reason for his improved standing in the general election.
"You know how well people know each other here. I guess the respect maybe that I have, how people must have trust and faith in me to help out in any which way I can," Writing Bird said.
Eagleman added that Writing Bird is a spiritual leader in the community.
When Houle takes the post as chair, he will vacate his seat on the council, which will be filled by special election, council secretary-treasurer Janice Raining Bird Myers said today.
Myers was also a candidate in the election, and polled the lowest number, with 411 votes.
Myers said, "I've been secretary-treasurer for 16 years and every administration I've been under I've been able to work with. I have no problems with who has been elected."
"The people spoke so it's all good," Stump said.