By Tim Eberly
Four days remain until the filing deadline for the Chippewa Cree tribal council's June 4 primary election at Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, and voters already have plenty to choose from.
Including the three incumbents who have filed for re-election, 14 other Rocky Boy residents have entered to run.
Janice Myers, clerk for the Chippewa Cree Election Board, said the number of candidates is not as high as in years past.
"This is pretty low," she said of the nonpartisan election, which is held every two years. "We usually get a little more than what we have now."
The deadline is Friday at 4:30 p.m. "I will probably get a few more," Myers said. "I'm not sure how many."
Myers declined to disclose the names of the people who have already filed until next week, when the board will determine if they are eligible to run.
Council members Bruce Sunchild, Jonathan Windy Boy and Brian Kelly Eagleman have filed to retain their positions on the nine-person committee.
The fourth tribal council member up for re-election, Duncan Standing Rock Sr., has not yet filed.
To advance to the Nov. 4 general election, candidates must be one of the top eight vote-getters.
"It's a nerve-wracking experience because we usually get a large voter turnout," said Bruce Sunchild, who is in his second four-year term.
Sunchild, 57, who was born and raised at Rocky Boy, has no major plans for a campaign strategy.
"I've been here for a couple terms, so I would hope people just remember me," he said.
A council member since 1990, Standing Rock said he may not run for a fourth term, in favor of spending more time at cultural events, like powwows.
"I'm not sure at this point," he said today. "I'm just kind of thinking about it. I can't get to some of them. I enjoy watching those kind of events."
Standing Rock was first appointed to the committee for two years in 1985, when a council member died.
Windy Boy and Eagleman could not be reached for comment.