SAULT STE. MARIE — All tribal board incumbents running for re-election were returned to office in the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians' 2016 General Election, according to June 23's General Election Day unofficial results.

In the chairperson's race, incumbent Aaron Payment was re-elected. Running against him was Unit 3 Director Keith Massaway. Chairperson Payment said, "I am honored and humbled to have been returned to office by Sault Tribe voters. We have great things on the horizon that deserve immediate attention, like our mandatory trust petition and our downstate casinos that will yield much needed revenues to expand services back home and finally bring services to members no matter where they live. I will do my best to earn everyone's support going forward."

The Sault Tribe is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors with representatives from five election units across the tribe's seven-county service area in the Michigan counties of Chippewa, Mackinac, Luce, Schoolcraft, Alger, Delta and Marquette and a chairperson elected by all tribal members registered to vote. The four-year terms are staggered so that the board always has experienced directors seated. The election is conducted by mail.

In Unit 1 (Sault area), three seats were up for election, with Unit 1 Director Cathy Abramson retiring. Incumbents Dennis McKelvie and Jennifer McLeod were voted back in and newcomer Michael McKerchie will take the seat vacated by Abramson.

In Unit 2 (Hessel area), incumbent Lana Causley-Smith was returned to office unopposed.

In Unit 3 (St. Ignace area), incumbent Bridgett Sorenson defeated opponent Ilene Moses.

In Unit 4 (Manistique area), Director Darcy Morrow was returned to office, fending off candidate Krystal Goudreau.

In the Unit 5 (Munising area) Special Election to decide who would fill the vacancy left by former director Rita Glyptis's removal, Anita Nelson defeated Charles Matson Sr.

The contest period for election results ends June 27 after which the results will be certified and the directors installed in a special ceremony where they will take the oath of office.

ELECTION RESULTS
(Winners in bold)

CHAIRPERSON
Aaron A. Payment 3,485
Keith Massaway 3,224

UNIT 1
Michael McKerchie 1,559
Dennis McKelvie 1,487
Jennifer McLeod-Tyson 1,382
Angeline Boulley 1,299
Betty Freiheit 1,154
Nichole Causley 1,107

UNIT 2
Lana Causley was unopposed and deemed elected

UNIT 3
Bridgett Sorenson 931
Ilene Moses 547

UNIT 4
Darcy Morrow 488
Krystal Goudreau 299

UNIT 5
Anita Nelson 295
Charles Matson Sr. 222

© 2017 - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY