VERDE VALLEY – In a pool of 11 candidates for three openings, Amanda Honwytewa, Henry Smith and Nancy Guzman are the leading vote-getters in the Sept. 15 Yavapai-Apache Nation’s Tribal Council Elections.
Challengers for the three seats on the Tribal Council, Honwytewa, Smith and Guzman have bested incumbents Rachel Hood, Lucinda Nahee and Jaime Valles, according to unofficial results posted on the Nation’s website, www.yavapai-apache.org.
According to the unofficial results, Honwytewa has 163 votes – 13.7 percent of the 446 total ballots cast in the Nation’s four districts: Middle Verde, Camp Verde, Clarkdale and Tunlii.
Of the total vote, 63 came in as absentee votes, according to unofficial results posted on the Nation’s website.
“That was a good participation of absentee ballots,” according to Don Decker of the Nation’s public relations department. “And with 446 people who voted, it’s a pretty good indication that people were interested in their representatives.”
As of the Sept. 15 unofficial results, Smith had accumulated 144 votes – 12.1 percent of the vote. Guzman has 137 votes – 11.5 percent of the vote.
Hood has 124 votes, Nahee 57 votes. But Valles “decided not to run again,” Decker said.
Other challengers for Tribal Council included Lorna Hazelwood with 135 votes, Lyndel Kelley with 84, David Kwail with 91, Roberta Pavatea with 88, Calvin Williams with 87 and Lottie Sylvia Wilson with 77.
According to the Nation’s website, the Election Board “will certify the election within three days of the date of the election.”
“An additional 10 days is set aside after the election has been certified to review any challenges to the election results,” the Yavapai-Apache Nation website also stated.
The election board has “up to 30 days from the day of certification to inaugurate the new members,” Decker said.
The Nation’s Tribal Council election was for a three-year term. Since the Nation’s terms on council are staggered, next year’s openings on council will be for the seats of chairperson, currently held by Jane Russell-Winiecki; vice-chairperson, held by Larry Jackson, Sr.; and councilor Siera Russell, Decker said.
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