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New faces for tribal council; Klamath Tribes elect chairman, vice chairman, council members

by Lee Juillerat, Herald and News 4/24/10

Leadership of the Klamath Tribes will change hands next month.

A new slate of officers and tribal council members, including several who were involved in efforts to oust the now former tribal council in recall elections, have won election, based on results announced Friday.

Gary Frost, who claimed he was elected in recall elections in late winter and earlier this year, will replace Joe Kirk as tribal chairman.

Frost, when contacted Friday afternoon, declined comment, noting there is a 10-day period after the count to submit letters of irregularity.

Don Gentry succeeds Joe Hobbs as vice chairman, while two incumbent board members won re-election: Torina Case as secretary and Brandi Decker as treasurer.

New members

The six elected members of the tribal council, in order of votes, are Shawn L. Jackson, Albert Bert Lawyor Sr., GeorGene Wright-Nelson, Jeff Mitchell, Charles E. Kimbol Sr. and Frank Summers. Only Mitchell remains from the former tribal council.

James D. Hill, who received the most votes of any candidate, 751, was elected chief judge.

Under provisions of the Klamath Tribes Constitution, the new Tribal Council will be seated at the first Tribal Council meeting after the election on May 13.

A total of 1,171 ballots were counted. Another 292 were returned because they had no deliverable addresses. Sixteen ballots were received after Wednesday’s 5 p.m. deadline and 16 arrived too late to be counted. Based on the Tribe’s 2009 annual report, tribal membership as of Dec. 31, 2009, was 3,683 with an estimated 3,077 adults 18 and older.

Terms for the tribal council run for three years. This year’s election generated higher than usual interest because of the recall effort.

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