By Larry Kline/Havre Daily News
New tribal council member Ricky Morsette wants to see things move forward on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. Finding ways to bring new jobs into the area is one of his top priorities.
"I feel there's a lot of positive change in the right direction under Chairman 'Chance' Houle," Morsette said. "I will support him and the rest of the (tribal) council, especially in the area of economic development, because our people need jobs. I want change, and I know our people want change."
He declined to comment further.
Morsette won Thursday's special election to fill an empty seat on the Rocky Boy tribal council. He won the most votes in the election, with 306.
The seat was vacated when council member John "Chance" Houle defeated incumbent chairman Alvin Windy Boy Sr. in the November general election.
The Jan. 6 vote was held after the tribal election board threw out the results of a Dec. 10 race to fill Houle's seat, which Windy Boy won. The decision was made after complaints were filed noting that the election had not been sufficiently advertised.
Morsette came in second in the first special election, trailing Windy Boy by 10 votes.
Tribal rules dictate that a vote must be advertised in the Havre Daily News at least two days prior to the election. The Dec. 10 election was advertised for only one day prior.
Others receiving votes Thursday included Windy Boy, 205; Tim Koop, 128; Harlan Gopher Baker, 116; Russell Standing Rock, 69; Debbie St. Pierre, 52; Manuel Duran Jr., 24; Gilbert Belgarde, 10; Thomas Roasting Stick Sr., 5; and Melvin Morsette Jr., 5.