Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

By Hannah Olson
Bemidji Pioneer 

Incumbents take all in Leech Lake primaries, White Earth to hold election in August

Round up from elections held by Leech Lake, White Earth, Red Lake and Bois Forte Tribal Councils


CASS LAKE, Minn. -- Leech Lake band members voted to keep incumbents in office on Tuesday, June 9.

Leech Lake, along with the other bands affiliated with the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, held primary elections on June 9 to fill the seats of tribal chairperson and District 3 council representative. All MCT elections were scheduled to be held in March, but were postponed due to COVID-19.

Incumbent Chairman Faron Jackson Sr. won with 54.77 % of the vote.

Incumbent District 3 Representative LeRoy Staples-Fairbanks won with 77.66% of the vote.

Since both winners of both races took more than 50% of the vote, Leech Lake will not hold general elections in August.

White Earth

White Earth also held primary elections Tuesday, and voted to keep Incumbent Chairman Michael Fairbanks in office. He received 57.53% of the vote.

District 3 Candidate Eugene "Umsy" Tibbetts took 36.39% of the vote and Cheryl "Annie" Jackson took 14.94% of the vote.

The District 3 representative race in White Earth will continue on to the general elections on Aug. 18.

Bois Forte

Bois Forte also held primary elections on Tuesday. The tribal chairperson race only had two people filing for candidacy, so no primary elections were needed for this race.

Incumbent Chairwoman Cathy Chavers and challenger Miranda Villebrun Lilya will face off during general elections on Aug. 18.

In the primary elections for District 1 Representative, Incumbent Travis Morrison and candidate Tara Geshik received the most votes and will face off in general elections.

Red Lake

In addition, Red Lake held elections on May 20 to fill tribal council seats in each of the four districts -- Ponemah, Redby, Red Lake and Little Rock. At the Tuesday, June 9, Tribal Council meeting, the 2020 election results were accepted and approved.

Incumbent Robert Smith won in Red Lake District with 509 total votes, over David Desjarlait with 294 votes and Donovan May with 119 votes.

In Little Rock, incumbent Michelle Barrett Cobenais was reelected with 63% of the vote at 247, over Sherilyn Neadeau-Benais with 89 votes and Chris Jourdain with 56.

Incumbent Glenda Martin ran unopposed in Ponemah District.

Redby District had seven candidates running, with incumbent Allen Pemberton receiving 41% of the vote with 256 votes, and coming in second was Herman Donnell with 120 votes.

Others in the Redby race were Gary Auginash Sr., Michael Cobenais, Kevin Jones, Sheldon Brown and Rodney Prentice.

Since no candidate received over half of the vote, Pemberton and Donnell will face off in a runoff election to be held on July 15. Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Red Lake District Representative Robert "Bob" Smith, Ponemah Representative Glenda Martin and Little Rock Representative Michelle Barrett-Cobenais were sworn in as tribal council members.


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