Tribal Government & News

17 vying for Tribal Council seats

06.27.2011 Dean Rhodes Tribal Council, Elections, General Council

Seventeen Tribal members were nominated to run for three open seats on Tribal Council at a special General Council meeting held Sunday, June 26, in the Tribal Community Center.

Of the 17 candidates, eight are either currently serving on Tribal Council or have served on Tribal Council.

The nominees, in the order they were nominated, are:

  • Jean Turman, Roll #837, nominated Westly "Buddy" West, Roll #842. West is retired from both military and Tribal Council service (2004-07) and lives in Salem.
  • Lonnie Leno, Roll #935, nominated Reynold Leno, Roll #453. Leno is the current Tribal Council Vice Chair and serving his fifth consecutive three-year term on Tribal Council. He lives in Willamina.
  • Leon Tom, Roll #8181, nominated Kathleen Tom, Roll #817. Tom is current Tribal Council secretary and serving her second consecutive three-year term on Tribal Council. She lives in Keizer and Grand Ronde.
  • Chris Mercier, Roll #1821, nominated William "Wink" Soderberg, Roll #777. Soderberg is currently a Tribal Council member and finishing his second consecutive three-year term on Tribal Council. He lives in Grand Ronde.
  • Jolanda Catabay, Roll #3424, nominated Denise Harvey, Roll #1874. Harvey is chair of the Spirit Mountain Gaming Commission and a health coordinator at Providence Portland Medical Center.
  • Kathryn Harrison, Roll #237, nominated June Sell-Sherer, Roll #735. Sherer is retired from service on Tribal Council (1999-2005, 2007-10) and lives in Grand Ronde.
  • Violet Folden, Roll #625, nominated LeLani Folden, Roll #1939. Folden is on the board of directors of the Saddle Club and lives in Grand Ronde.
  • Annabelle "Peachie" Hamm, Roll #605, nominated Khani Schultz, Roll #1395. Schultz is currently Tribal Cultural Collections coordinator and lives in Grand Ronde.
  • Evelyn Seidel, Roll #308, nominated Brenda Tuomi, Roll #1438. Tuomi is an academic adviser at the University of Oregon and lives in Springfield.
  • Denny Linton, Roll #4426, nominated Michael Bolton, Roll #4762. Bolton is not currently employed and lives in Willamina.
  • Christina Trevino-Jungers, Roll #2626 nominated Dakota Whitecloud, Roll #1587. Whitecloud recently retired from almost 22 years of service in many Tribal government positions and lives in Grand Ronde.
  • Tammara Bovee, Roll #2426, nominated Clifford Olson, Roll #2038. Olson has just graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor's degree in Human Services and lives in Eugene.
  • Jan M. Reibach, Roll #3227, nominated Jan D. Reibach, Roll #668. Reibach owns a construction company, is a former Tribal Council member (2000-06) and lives in Willamina.
  • Robert Nagel, Roll #4874, nominated Harold Lyon, Roll #4864. Lyon is retired, lives in Grand Ronde and serves on the Tribe's Rodeo Special Event Board and Fish and Wildlife Committee.
  • Bob Haller, Roll #226, nominated Mark Mercier, Roll #551. Mercier is retired from 15 years of service on Tribal Council (1984-99), many of which he served as Tribal chairman, and works for Round Valley Construction. He lives in Grand Ronde.
  • Valarene Grout, Roll #268, nominated Margaret Provost, Roll #645. Provost, who is credited with helping get the Tribe's Restoration effort started, is retired from service on Tribal Council (1990-93, 1995-98) and lives in Grand Ronde.
  • Stacey Running Bird, Roll #3294, nominated Perri McDaniel, Roll #2524. McDaniel is Eugene area office coordinator and lives in Grand Ronde.

All nominees accepted their nominations.

Ballots will be mailed to voters with verified signatures on July 27. Tribal members may create a verified signature card at any time up to and including Election Day, Saturday, Sept. 10.

Through July 25, Tribal member Penny DeLoe, chair of the Tribal Election Board, will be available to help during normal business hours in the Member Services office on the second floor of the Governance Building.

Other members of the Election Board are Joann Mercier, Sharon Hanson, Deanna Johnston, Janet Giddings and Michael Mercier.

Starting July 25 through Election Day, the Election Office in the Community Center building will be open 20 hours a week.

Candidate statements are due in the Publications office by 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, and will be featured in the following issue of Tilixam Wawa, slated to be mailed the week of July 26.

"Tilixam Wawa will be mailed out first class," said Publications Coordinator Dean Rhodes, "so it should arrive very close to when the ballots arrive."

Candidates are limited to 600-word statements and candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their statements via e-mail to or on a compact disc. Hand-written statements are discouraged to avoid transcription errors, Rhodes said, and late statements will not be accepted for any reason.

In addition, candidate statements will run "as is," meaning the Tribe's Publications staff will not edit the submissions in any way other than to ensure they meet the 600-word limitation.

A Tribal Council Candidate Forum will be held 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 27, in the Tribal gym.

Election results will be counted at the Community Center on Saturday, Sept. 10, and posted that evening on the Community Center's front doors.

This year's 17 candidates matches the number who ran for Tribal Council in 2002, but does not exceed the 18 who ran in 2009. Last year, 15 Tribal members threw their hats in the ring for Tribal Council.