Voters in Warm Springs elect 6 council members
With more than two dozen candidates on the ballot, Warm Springs residents selected six councilors -- half of them new -- for the Agency and Simnasho districts represented on the Warm Springs Tribal Council.
As a result of an error on the ballot, the Seekseequa district will redo its vote on April 30, in time for new councilors to take office at the May 7 council meeting, according to Madeline Queahpama, vital statistics supervisor.
Voters in the Agency District, which has 1,471 voters, returned Vice Chairman Stanley "Buck" Smith to the council with 228 votes, and Bernice Mitchell with 160 votes. Eugene A. Greene Jr., who garnered 225 votes, will replace Councilor Rita Squiemphen, who received 152 votes.
The Simnasho District -- the second largest with 849 voters -- re-elected Chairman Ronald Suppah Sr., with 178 votes.
For the other two positions from Simnasho, Aurolyn Stwyer and Rafael Queahpama edged out Councilor Raymond Tsumpti Sr. in a close race. Stwyer received 108 votes, Queahpama 105 votes, and Tsumpti 102. Current Councilor Earl Squiemphen was also replaced. He received 49 votes.
The Seekseequa District, which has 209 voters, will field another two councilors after the April 30 vote. Current members from that district include Reuben Henry and Carolyn Wewa, who is not running for re-election.
Besides Henry, Lauraina Hintsala, Wendell Jim, Myra Johnson Orange, Julie Quaid, Brenda Scott, Alvis Smith III, and Wilson Wewa Jr. will be on the ballot.
Councilors on the 11-member Tribal Council are elected for three-year terms. Chiefs Nelson Wallulatum from Agency District, Delvis Heath from Simnasho District, and Joseph Moses from Seekseequa are lifetime members of the council.
The April 2 Seekseequa election was invalidated because the ballot incorrectly stated that voters should vote for three, rather than two, candidates, Queahpama noted. The Tribal Council voted on Friday, April 6, to certify the other two elections.