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Secretary/treasurer retains seat following FDL primary election

Tuesday’s primary election on the Fond du Lac Reservation yielded an outright winner for the office of secretary/treasurer as well as the voters’ mandate behind the incumbent in the race for District II Sawyer Representative.

Secretary/treasurer incumbent Ferdinand Martineau Jr. garnered 53.43 percent of the vote, with 382 votes out of an overall total of 715.  According to tribal election rules, any candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary is an automatic winner, without being required to move on to a general election.

Martineau received the lion’s share of his support — 204 votes — from District I Cloquet, with 72 coming from District II Sawyer, 52 from District III Brookston and 54 absentee votes. Coming in a distant second behind Martineau was Peter Defoe, with 28.25 percent — for a total of 202 — of the votes.

Mary Diver earned 13.57 percent of the votes in the race for secretary/treasurer, with a total of 97, and R.A. “Bob” Martineau received 4.76 percent, with a total of 34 votes.

On the day following the primary election, Martineau commented, "I was humbled by the voice of the people last night. They spoke loud and clear to me and I hope to the rest of the reservation by saying that they want me to continue to represent them as Secretary/Treasurer for the next four years. I was elated with the results of last night’s vote, but I was also challenged. I was challenged to continue to protect all band members rights however they wish to express them. Over the past several months there have been quite a few accusations leveled against me by some band members. All of the charges were faced by me and ultimately dismissed. It is now time for us as a band to come together to forge our future out of the discourse that has been occurring within our band. We need to put aside our personal differences and look to the future for our children and grandchildren. I look forward to representing all band members for the next four years."

In the race for District II Representative, incumbent David Tiessen Jr. led in the voting with 37.33 percent of the total ballots cast, with 53 votes in the district and three absentee votes. Brenda Shabiash also made the cut, with 20 percent of the votes (a total of 30) going her way. Tiessen and Shabiash will now move on to the general election on June 10.

Other candidates in the District II race were Bruce M. Savage, with 28 votes; John B. McMillen, 10; Blake Evanson, 10; Geraldine Defoe , 8; Tina Sadler, 6; and Jodi Ammesmaki, 2.

Candidates now have until 5 p.m. Friday, April 4, to request a recount by the general election board. A decision on the recount must be made and announced by April 9.

The deadline for contesting the primary election is Tuesday, April 8. Any challenge must be filed with the reservation election judge and executive director of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. A decision on the contest is due by April 18, or 10 days following the day the notice of contest was filed.

On the day of the June 10 general election, polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.