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Posted by Lane Spotted Elk- Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council on Thursday, August 20, 2020
Northern Cheyenne Primary Election set for October
Native Sun News Today Correspondent

A primary election for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe is scheduled for October 1, 2020. Several key seats are open: Tribal President; Tribal Vice-President; Chief Judge, two Trial Judges and five (out of ten) Tribal Council seats.

The number of candidates for each seat in the Primary is unlimited, voting for Tribal Council seats at the district level. Other seats are open for reservation-wide voting. The two top-vote getters for each open seat will run against one another in a reservation-wide election on November coinciding with the Federal and State Elections.

Interestingly, several incumbents including the Tribal President, Vice-President and one Tribal Council member are not seeking re-election, some candidly admitting their frustration with Tribal Government.

Candidates who filed for each office, paid the required filing fee and declared eligible by the Tribal Voter’s Committee are as follows. In addition, write-ins are legal in the Primary, but not in the General Election.

Tribal President
Curtis Elkshoulder, Jr. (Manager of tribal convenience store); Donna Marie Fisher (self-employed caterer and former Ashland District Tribal Council member); Rudolph King, Jr. (retired law enforcement and Tribal Judge); Lafe Haugen (former Housing Authority Director); Gene Small (rancher and Executive Director of Tribal Land Authority); Patricia Tallbull (retired, former Tribal Social Services Director and Muddy District Tribal Council member).

In addition, William Walksalong has declared via Facebook a write-in candidacy. He is currently the Chief Administrator for the Tribe a former Lame Deer District Council member and past Tribal President.

Tribal Vice President
Serena Brady Wetheralt; Dana Eaglefeathers (construction contractor, former Busy District Chairman and incumbent Busby Tribal Council member); Sheldon King (former bus driver, current head of tribal propane company and former Busby Tribal Council member); Sterling Small, rancher, former MT State Representative and former Tribal Health Program Director) and Aljo Strangeowl (retired Tribal Housing employee and former Busby Tribal Council member).

Election polls will be open in each district, however considering the COVID pandemic, tribal members are urged to download a request for an Absentee Ballot from the Tribal website and conduct a mail-in ballot. Also, due to COVID traditional campaign strategies such as community feasts provided by the candidates, public and district meetings and debates have largely been curtailed.

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Clara Caufield can be reached at acheyennevoice@gmail.com

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