Tribal leader ousted

Colville Business Council Chairman Michael Finley falls short in primary

— Colville Business Council Chairman Michael O. Finley was ousted from his Inchelium District seat in the tribal primary election.

He was trailing challengers Marvin Joseph Kheel and Yvonne Swan after poll votes from the May 3 election were tallied last Monday and remained in third place when absentee votes were added Thursday.

Kheel led the five-candidate field for Inchelium District position No. 2 with 97 votes. Swan was right behind with 96. Both advance to the June 14 general election.

Finley, in third place, had 74 votes. Rounding out the field were Marlin R. Simpson, 37, and Pat Laramie-Brooks, 28.

“Our lives are worth 100 percent consideration by elected tribal representatives and I can deliver that with drug- and alcohol-free representation,” Swan said.

She said a number of absentee voters received their ballots too late to vote, so she urged them to contact the tribal elections office immediately “so it doesn’t happen again.”

Swan has been in the forefront of an effort by tribal members to force the council to turn over all of the tribe’s $193 million federal trust settlement to individual members.

Finley and Kheel, an enforcement officer with the tribe’s Natural Resources Department, did not reply to Chronicle requests for comment.

Finley has been on the council since being appointed to fill a vacant position in January 2008. He ran unopposed later that year and again in 2010, and won re-election in 2012.

He served as chairman for three years before losing the position on a coin flip to Omak District Councilman John Sirois in 2012. Last year, the council elected him as chairman over Sirois.

Sirois chose not to seek re-election this year, citing family obligations. Also bowing out for family and educational reasons was Omak District Councilwoman Lynn Palmanteer-Holder.

For Omak District position No. 1, Edwin L. Marchand won a general election post with 169 votes. Joining him on the June 14 ballot will be John E. Gorr, with 91.

Other candidates were Shirley K. Charley, 83; James A. McCuen, 77, and Kate Sanchez, 49.

In the Omak District position No. 2 race, Michael E. Marchand garnered 228 votes. Also winning a general election ballot post was Duane E. Hall Sr, with 106.

Others in that race were Darlene “Dar” Burke, 78; Stuart J. Sellars, 35, and Launa L. Squetimkin, 21.

In the Nespelem District, position No. 1 incumbent William “Billy” Nicholson II, received 208 votes, with Amelia (Moses) Marchand in second place, with 155.

Shawnee N. BearCub, with 85 votes, did not make the cut.

The other Nespelem District incumbent, Nancy Cawston Johnson, will advance to the final with 138 votes. In second place is Harvey Moses Jr., with 113 votes.

Other candidates for the position were Brian J. Nissen, 206, and Charlene BearCub, 94.

Inchelium District position No. 1 and Keller District position No. 1 attracted two candidates apiece and did not have primaries.


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