ROSEBUD, SD – The Rosebud Sioux Tribal Election Board is expected to issue a written ruling possibly as early as Wednesday but no later than Friday of this week after listening to testimony in three separate hearings held on Tuesday, August 14, 2012. The public hearings were held to deal with three challenges to candidates who are running for public office. The tribe will hold a General Election on Thursday, August 23, 2012.
Lenard “Shadow” Wright, an unsuccessful candidate for the office of tribal president, filed separate challenges against Scott Herman, William Kindle and Rodney Bordeaux on July 30, 2012. Wright challenged the eligibility of all three candidates, citing Article III – Governing Body – Section 2 of the RST Constitution and By-laws which contains the following language: “The offices of the President, Vice President, Council Representatives, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be subject to limits of two consecutive terms.”
Rodney Bordeaux was elected to serve his first term as Tribal President in 2005. He was re-elected to additional term in 2007 and again re-elected in 2009.
William Kindle was elected to the office of Vice-president in 2007 and then re-elected in 2009.
Scott Herman was elected to serve as the Tribal Council Representative for Antelope Community in 2005. He was re-elected in 2007 and again in 2009.
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe hosted a Constitutional Convention in 2004 and several amendments were recommended by a Task Force to be placed on a ballot for a Secretarial Election. The Bureau of Indian Affairs conducted the Secretarial Election and the amendments which were approved by tribal voters were incorporated into the RST Constitution and By-Laws, effective September 20, 2007.
All three candidates referred to a 2011 ruling issued by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe’s Supreme Court which basically stated that the term limits placed upon candidates for office would commence with the RST 2009 election, instead of the 2007 election. Wright, however, asserted that the Constitution was effective as of September 20, 2007 and asked the Election Board to determine that Bordeaux, Kindle and Herman are not eligible to be placed on the ballot for next week’s General Election.
Election Board members include Sam High Crane, Patti Romero, Rhonda Mackenzie, Cecelia Fast Horse and Ronald Valandra.