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Published May 07, 2013, 04:02 PM

Spirit Lake Tribe holds council election

Voters on the Spirit Lake Nation are deciding the fate of two tribal council members today. The election will result in at least one new council member with possibly more changes to come.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

Voters on the Spirit Lake Nation are deciding the fate of two tribal council members today. The election will result in at least one new council member with possibly more changes to come.

Voters say all they want is a tribal council that will listen to the people. Voters I spoke to say all four candidates vying for the two seats will do just that. Russ McDonald is taking on incumbent Clarise Brownshield for the Fort Totten district seat. Robert Thompson and Mardell Lewis are up for the Saint Michael seat. Many voters say the current council doesn't listen to complaints from tribal members and that too much power lies with chairman Roger Yankton. They say all of today's candidates will work to change that.

Dr. Eriche Longie: "Regardless of who wins, because all four candidates are strong candidates, I think they will reaffirm the district representative's authority."

Organizers of a petition to remove Yankton say they're waiting until after the election to turn it in, saying there's less of a chance then the council could derail efforts to oust the chairman. Polls are open until seven. Official results won't be released until tomorrow.

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