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May 14, 2014

Two newcomers, one former official elected to tribal council

TRAVERSE CITY -- The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians' former tribal chairman will return to the band’s legislative arm.

Band members on Tuesday elected Derek Bailey to the tribal council. Bailey will be joined by council newcomers -- and second cousins -- Frank Wilson and Mark Leonard Wilson.

“With the election results, I do see two younger tribal citizens stepping into leadership positions for the Grand Traverse Band, and I think that’s positive because with that comes new perspectives and fresh ideas,” Bailey said.

The band’s seven-member tribal council acts as its legislative branch and forms the Economic Development Corporation board. Council members serve four-year terms.

The band owns and operates the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, the Leelanau Sands Casino and Lodge and the Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel.

Six band members ran for three open council seats. Mark Leonard Wilson garnered the most votes, with 19.3 percent, according to the unofficial election results. Frank Wilson followed with 18.3 percent of the vote, and Bailey came in third with 17.2 percent.

The three beat out incumbent Jane Rohl on Tuesday, and the other sitting council member, Robert Kewaygoshkum, lost in the April primary election. The third open seat belongs to George Antoine, who did not run for reelection.

Election results will be certified on May 21 if no challenges are issued. The newly elected council members would take their oath of office the next day.

Band members could vote for up to three candidates.

Delores Louise (Dee) Wonegeshik was elected to the Gaming Commission; she beat Stephen Dale McClellan with 61.5 percent of the vote.

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