PABLO — The Flathead Nation can begin printing its Tribal Council General Election ballots now that the official Primary Election vote count has been certified. Ten candidates will vie for the five district seats in the General Election on Saturday, December 14, 2019.
The more than 1,000 votes cast seems to be close to recent averages; there seems to be a ceiling of around 1,200 votes cast in the election over the years.
• Arlee District: Incumbent Myrna Dumontier and former Arlee District Representative, James “Bing” Matt will face off in the general election. Dumontier garnered 240 votes, and Matt received 298 votes.
A total of 1,056 votes were cast in the Arlee District; Dumontier and Matt received 538 votes; that potentially leaves 518 votes up for grabs in the district if the voting turnout is the same.
• Hot Springs District: Michael Dolson and Gene Lozeau will vie for the open seat vacated by Leonard Gray. Dolson hauled in 432 votes, and Lozeau 407.
A total of 1,043 votes were cast in the Hot Springs District; Dolson and Lozeau accounted for 839 votes; that leaves 204 votes to vie for.
• St. Ignatius District: LeEllen “Ellie” Bundy-McLeod and Willie Stevens vying for the open seat vacated by Tribal Council Chairman Ronald Trahan. Bundy-McLeod garnered 306 votes and Stevens 252.
A total of 1,021 votes were cast in the St. Ignatius District; Bundy-McLeod and Stevens tallied 558 together; that leaves 463 votes ready to rein in.
However, note that the total General Election counts are never the exact number cast in the Primary Election — there usually is a higher turnout in the general election but not by much.
The Dixon and Pablo districts didn’t conduct a Primary Election due to only two candidates filing in each district.
• The Dixon District will have incumbent Anita Matt, and former Dixon Rep. Terry Pitts vying for the seat.
• The Pablo District will have incumbent Dennis Clairmont and challenger Martin Charlo contesting for the seat.
The winning candidates will serve four years on the Tribal Council.
In two years — 2021 — the other five Tribal Council seats will be open for the election process. Those seats are presently occupied by Carole Lankford, Ronan District; Shelly Fyant, Arlee District; Charmel Gillin, Polson District; Leonard TwoTeeth, Elmo District; and Fred Matt, St. Ignatius District.
• The General Election on Saturday, December 14, 2019.
• The election results will be certified Wednesday, December 18.
• The successful candidates will be sworn in Friday, January 3, 2020 at the Winter Quarterly.