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UPDATED: LaRose, Howe, White win Leech Lake seats

LEECH LAKE -- Leech Lake’s incumbent secretary-treasurer candidate Arthur “Archie” LaRose defeated challenger Donald “Mick” Finn, Sr., in the band’s general election Tuesday.

Former District I Representative Robbie Howe -- who took time off to care for her mother -- regained her seat and District II Representative Steve White secured another term, according to certified results released Wednesday.

About 2,000 people voted in the secretary-treasurer race, with LaRose netting 54.37 percent of the votes. The band has about 9,500 enrolled members.

Finn attempted in January to challenge the Leech Lake Tribal Council’s decision to certify LaRose to run for secretary-treasurer. The incumbent, who has held the office for a total of 10 years, was convicted of a felony in 1992, which was later deemed a misdemeanor.

Though Finn argued that the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe’s election ordinance -- which disqualifies any potential candidate who has ever been convicted of a felony -- the tribe’s election court denied Finn’s appeal.

LaRose and Finn proceeded to the April primary race along with two other secretary-treasurer candidates and received 47.36 and 30.67 percent of the votes, respectively.

LaRose could not be reached for comment Wednesday

Howe defeated opponent Rose Robinson with 58.87 percent of the 496 votes cast in the District I race; White received 85.20 percent of District II’s 277 votes, coming out ahead of opponent Janice Dahmen.

Howe said she is excited to once again be involved in tribal politics. She served two terms as the band’s District I Representative before taking time off in 2014. She plans to focus on community wellness during her term.

“I had a chance to kind of see it from the outside in and be involved with the community,” Howe said. “After visiting with so many people in the communities, there’s a dire need for community wellness.”

Leech Lakers also voted in Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School Board candidates Nita Cloud, with District I; Ron Burnette, with District II; and Laurie Harper and Ingrid Mesarina with District III. Leech Lake Housing Association Housing Board candidates Amanda Youngrunningcrane, with District I; Terri Goggleye, with District II; and Leonard Headbird, with District III, also were elected Tuesday.

Roy, Auginaush, Goodwin victorious in White Earth

MAHNOMEN -- White Earth Nation also released unofficial election results Wednesday. Secretary-Treasurer candidate Leonard “Alan” Roy defeated incumbent Tara Mason with 51.17 percent of the vote. District I Representative candidate Raymond Auginaush, Sr., defeated incumbent Steven “Punky” Clark with 50.53 percent of the vote and District II Representative incumbent Kathy Goodwin defeated opponent Joan LaVoy with 55.31 percent of the vote.

Grace Pastoor

Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or

(218) 333-9796