Pleasant Point, Indian Township elect new tribal governors

Posted Sept. 16, 2010, at 12:21 p.m.

INDIAN TOWNSHIP — William Nicholas has been unseated as governor of the reservation by his lieutenant governor, Joseph Socabasin, by a vote of 204 to 166 in Passamaquoddy tribal elections.

At Pleasant Point, Reuben “Clayton” Cleaves was elected the new governor over challenger Hilda Lewis, 217 votes to 123 votes.

Cleaves will replace Rick Phillips-Doyle who did not seek re-election. Both new governors will take office for four years on Oct. 1.

Also at Pleasant Point, Kenneth Poynter was elected to the four-year position of lieutenant governor, receiving 190 votes to defeat incumbent Thomas Lewey, who received 146 votes.

Clayton Sockabasin was elected lieutenant governor at Indian Township, besting challenger Jeanette Parker, 202 votes 167.

Each of the two Passamaquoddy reservations elect their own governor. There are two reservations but a single tribe, each with its own governor, lieutenant governor and six councilors. Each council handles its own reservation governance but they come together as a joint tribal council on issues such as water and land rights.

Elections at both reservations were held last week, but the final results on a three-year school board position at Pleasant Point were not settled until Thursday, according to Phillips-Doyle. A recount of ballots that had previously produced a tie, resulted in Nicole “Nikki” Dana winning the seat by one vote, 163-162, over Cyril Francis, the governor said.

Results of tribal council elections at Pleasant Point remain uncertified due to unresolved questions regarding candidate eligibility, according to Phillips-Doyle.

Preliminary results in that race, which featured five candidates, including one write-in, vying for three open seats on the Sipayak Tribal Council, the top three vote-getters were incumbent Alberta “Birda” Downing, Francis “Frankie” Cleaves, and write-in candidate Newell Lewey.

A tribal council meeting will be held next Tuesday evening to decide the issue, he said. Final results should be available Wednesday.

The final Indian Township vote counts were confirmed Wednesday by the governor-elect Socabasin.

Indian Township had 13 candidates competing for three council seats.

They were won by Leslie Nicholas with 131 votes, Nipawset Sabattus with 119, and Gerald Stevens with 111. Aaron Dana was elected to the school board with 200 votes, defeating Tne Downing.

Majorities at each reservation also elected Madonna Soctomah as tribal representative to the Maine Legislature. Soctomah defeated challenger Fred Moore by 247 votes to 112 at Pleasant Point and by 223 to 107 votes at Indian Township.

Soctomah of Pleasant Point will replace her brother, Donald Soctomah of Indian Township, in the four-year position, which alternates between the two reservations.

The four-year legislative seat alternates between Pleasant Point and Indian Township.

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