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Jourdain, Roy to face off for Red Lake chairman

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Bemidji, 56619
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Incumbent Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain Jr. and Tribal Secretary Judy Roy will face off in a run-off election for the tribal chairman position, according to unofficial results from Tuesday's primary election.

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Unofficially, Jourdain received 1,470 votes, or 47.4 percent, compared to Roy's 889 (28.7 percent).

Former Chairman Bobby Whitefeather was third with 13 percent, and Francis "Chunky" Brun was fourth with 11 percent.

The only candidate to win a position outright was incumbent Treasurer Darrell G. Seki, who received 1,501 votes, or 69.9 percent, in unofficial results. His challenger, LaNae Barrett Pemberton, had 909 votes for 30 percent.

Seki was appointed Red Lake treasurer in 2002 after the recall of Dan King, former treasurer.

Jourdain was elected on July 14, 2004. At 40, he was the youngest chairman for the Red Lake Band of Chippewa in history.

In his bid for re-election, he cited sovereignty of the Red Lake Nation as of prime importance to Red Lake people.

He said he wanted to curb unauthorized encroachments on their lands and jurisdiction by improper imposition of state laws.

Jourdain's term recently experienced the end of the moratorium on walleye fishing on Red Lake and the graduation of the first class from Red Lake Nation College.

However, he also presided during one of the most tragic events in Red Lake history, the March 21, 2005, shootings that killed 10 people and wounded several others, some seriously.

Jourdain's term was two years rather than four because of the death of Chairman Gerald "Butch" Brun in 2003 and the interim chairmanship of Brun's brother, Hereditary Chief George "Billy" King.

Roy was elected Red Lake secretary in 1994, serving 12 years in that position before announcing her candidacy for chairman. If elected, she will be the first Red Lake chairwoman.

Previously she served as director of Red Lake Headstart, and then in 1990 was appointed tribal executive administrator by the late Gerald "Butch" Brun.

She said one of her motivations for running for the chairmanship is to show young woman there are no limits in Red Lake Tribal governance.

In her bid for election, she said she shares a vision for a positive future for Red Lake through a united people and building a real economy.

Emerging from a slate of 10 candidates for tribal secretary were Kathryn "Jody" Beaulieu with 403 votes (20.5 percent) and Don Cook Sr. with 385 (15.4 percent).

Donald "Don Dez" Desjarlait received 47.5 percent of the vote with 590 votes for Red Lake representative. The race for the No. 2 spot for the run-off election was very close, with Lee Lussier Jr. with 207 votes (16.7 percent) and Geraldine "Jaye" Brun just behind with 203 (16.3 percent)

Gary L. Nelson Sr. had 180 votes for 32.2 percent in the race for Ponemah representative, followed by Clifford C. Hardy with 141 (25.2 percent).

Julius "Toady" Thunder received 274 votes (35.4 percent) for Redby representative, ahead of Tom "Jambi" Westbrook with 233 votes (30.1 percent).

Thirteen candidates were in the race for Little Rock representative. Harlan R. Beaulieu was on top with 110 votes (21.8 percent), with William "Billy" Greene in the No. 2 spot with 87 votes (17.2 percent).

The official election results will be posted on Friday. Wednesday is the deadline for anyone contesting the election.

If uncontested, the runoff election would be July 23. If contested, the runoff would be Aug. 2.

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