2008-05-01 / Front Page

Tribal Election Has Four Chairman Candidates

Four candidates are vying for the chairmanship of the board of directors for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, and several representative seats are available on the board.

Ballots for the primary election will be mailed to registered tribal voters Thursday, May 1. The primary election is Thursday, May 22.

Following the primary, general election ballots will be mailed to voters June 5, with the vote count to be June 26.

For the chairmanship, incumbent Chairman Aaron Payment of Sault Ste. Marie will be challenged by James Causley, Darwin "Joe" McCoy, and Dennis McKelvie, the vice chairman and a Unit I representative of the tribal board.

Mr. Payment defeated 17-year incumbent Bernard Bouschor, 4,190 to 4,028, to win the chairmanship of the 31,000-member tribe in the 2004 election.

In Unit I, the Sault Ste. Marie area, three board seats are open. Incumbents Cathy Abramson, Todd Gravelle, and Joe Eitrem, all of Sault Ste. Marie, will be challenged by Bernard "Bud" Biron, John Biron, Luella Brown, Betty Freiheit, Wayne Goetz, John Kibble, Amy Sabatine-Kerckaert, Lona Stewart, Nathan Wright, and Bernard Bouschor, former tribal chairman.

In Unit II, which includes the Les Cheneaux, Drummond Island, Newberry, and Naubinway areas, Catherine Hollowell and Robert Horn will run against incumbent Lana Causley.

Unit III, which encompasses the St. Ignace area, has five candidates that include incumbent Fred Paquin and Robert Lambert, Leonard Adams, James DeKeyser, and Patrick Rickley, all from St. Ignace.

Tom Miller of Cooks, representative for Unit IV, is running unopposed.

The tribe's seven-county Eastern Upper Peninsula service area is divided into five units. Tribal members who are registered as voters in each unit elect representatives to the board. The number of representatives chosen from each unit reflects the unit's population.

All officers serve for four years and staggered terms put half of the board up for election every two years.

Unit I has five representatives on the board. Units II, III, and IV, the Escanaba and Manistique area, each have two representatives. Unit V, the Marquette and Munising area, has one representative.

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