Rocky Boy tribal council gets two new members
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Two out of three incumbents up for re-election won new terms on the Chippewa Cree tribal council in Tuesday's election.
Jonathan Windy Boy and Bruce Sunchild Sr. were the top vote-getters with 563 and 561 votes, respectively.
The third council seat goes to John "Chance" Houle, with 518 votes. Russel T. Gopher, who works for the Stone Child College language preservation program, was close behind with 513 votes to capture the fourth position.
A total of eight candidates sought the four avaiable seats on the council. Incumbent Brian "Kelly" Eagleman was not re-elected.
Windy Boy, who also captured the state House District 92 seat on Tuesday night, has said he believes holding the two offices simultaneously will give him the opportunity to work on tribal issues more effectively at the state level.
Sunchild, who has been a council member for eight years and has served as vice chairman for the last four, worked for the Indian Health Service for 25 years before becoming a council member. Sunchild said he thinks his re-election shows that the voters have confidence in him for his previous work on the council. He also said he is thankful to be re-elected so that he can continue working on the Rocky Boy/North Central Regional Water Project, a project he said is "very important to the tribe."
Windy Boy and the other winning candidates could not be reached for comment today.
Tribal clerk Janice Myers said turnout for the tribal election was 999 and turnout for the state election was 1,097 voters. Rocky Boy has about 5,000 eligible voters.
She refused to disclose the amount of the salaries earned by the tribal council members, saying that the tribe keeps that information confidential.
Unofficial vote totals in Tuesday's election were:
Jonathan Windy Boy, 563; Bruce Sunchild Sr., 561; John "Chance" Houle, 518; Russel T. Gopher, 513; Brian "Kelly" Eagleman, 463; Lois J. Gopher, 453; Larry Morsette, Jr., 360; Russell Standing Rock, 270.
Incumbent tribal member Duncan Standing Rock lost his bid for re-election in the primary election.