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Tiessen outdistances Shabiash in FDL election

There was only one race at stake in Tuesday’s general election on the Fond du Lac Reservation this week — District II (Sawyer) representative — with incumbent David Tiessen Jr. edging out challenger Brenda Shabiash by just 14 votes.

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The final vote count in the race was Tiessen, 75, and Shabiash, 61. The two moved on from the April 1 primary from among a field of eight candidates.

Tiessen has held the position of Sawyer Representative for the past year and ran on a platform of drug abuse reform through strengthening cultural awareness on the reservation.

“My goal was to establish a cultural building,” stated Tiessen in his candidate statement earlier this spring. “There is now a cultural building in the works for Sawyer that should begin construction this year.”

Tiessen said in order to supplement the project he began donating a portion of his salary to be utilized as an incentive for learning the Ojibwe language.

“I have and will continue to donate to it as long as I hold this position,” he added.

He said his goals as District II representative will be to continue combatting the drug problem, instituting training programs for the people of the reservation, supporting economic development that is beneficial to Band members, and better communication between the Reservation Business Committee and the people of the reservation.

“One of the strategies I have already been using to communicate with band membership is monthly community meetings and making myself available as much as possible,” stated Tiessen. “Communication

and education are the main keys to making our Reservation flourish.”

The office of secretary/treasurer was also up for election this spring, but incumbent Ferdinand Martineau secured an additional term in that post by receiving more than 50 percent of the votes in the primary, with 53.43 percent (382) supporting him out of the total vote count of 715.

According to tribal ordinances, the deadline for requesting a vote recount is 5 p.m. June 13, and the deadline for contesting an election is 5 p.m. June 17.