The results of Tuesday’s election of new members of the Chippewa Cree Tribal election has been announced, including the loss of the council’s vice chair and sitting state senator.
The election selected four of the eight candidates who advanced from October’s primary election.
The top vote-getter Tuesday was Gerald Small with 781. He was followed by Harlan Gopher Baker with 590, Ricky Morsette with 550 and Ted E. Whitford Sr. with 547.
Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, the vice chair of the current council, was a close fifth with 493 votes. He was followed by Neal Rosette Sr. with 448, Russell Standing Rock with 446, and Tim Koop with 371.
The election was contested by a group of candidates who did not advance from the primary, saying the election board had not properly conducted background checks on all of the candidates. The election proceded despite the complaint and request for an injunction.
The Tribal courts have not responded to requests from the Havre Daily News on the progress or decisions on the complaint and request for an injunction.
Windy Boy, a 12-year member of the council, said he is upbeat and optimistic despite his loss in the election.
“This is not a loss,” he said. “I’m a winner, because if it wasn’t for these 12 years I’ve got, the chance to serve my people here, I wouldn’t have this experience, knowledge, everything that goes along with that.”
He said that at this point he is not considering running in future council elections, but that he would like to bring his experience to help other tribes. That includes the Fort Belknap and Fort Peck Indian reservations, which are within his state senate district, Windy Boy said.
He offered his experience and contacts in the state and in Washington, D.C., including White House connections, to any wishing his help.
“Life is too short to sit moping around,” Windy Boy said.