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Mason ousted in White Earth secretary-treasurer race

Candidates react after the final vote is tallied: Secretary-Treasurer Tara Mason, left, stands next to Alan Roy, while Joan LaVoy, at right, gets the bad news via cellphone photo. Nathan Bowe/Tribune1 / 4
Ray Auginaush Sr. reacts to his five-vote victory in the District 1 race for White Earth Tribal Council. Nathan Bowe/Tribune2 / 4
District II Representative Kathy Goodwin checks her phone before the final vote came in. She went on to win 55 percent to 45 percent, but was the only incumbent to keep her seat on the Tribal Council. Nathan Bowe/Tribune3 / 4
District 1 incumbent Punky Clark lost his White Earth Tribal Council seat by just five votes to challenger Ray Auginaush Sr. Photo by Nathan Bowe/Tribune4 / 4

Two of three incumbents lost their seats on the Tribal Council in a close White Earth general election Tuesday.

Secretary-Treasurer Tara Mason was defeated by Leonard "Alan" Roy, 51 percent to 49 percent (1,134 votes to 1,082) and Steven "Punky" Clark lost to Ray Auginaush Sr. by just five votes—240 votes to 235 votes.

District II Rep. Kathy Goodwin retained her seat on the council, defeating Joan LaVoy 55 percent to 45 percent. The results are unofficial until certified.

"We did it, we came together as a team—I want to thank everyone," Roy said to supporters after his victory. "Four words—power to the people," he said later to a reporter.

Mason shook Roy's hand after the votes were counted.

"I'd like to thank everyone who came out and supported me, especially Naytahwaush, and everybody who helped get people out to the polls and out to vote," Mason said.

Mason won the Naytahwaush precinct, her home turf, 220 votes to 101, and was leading in the vote until the absentee ballots were counted, but Roy prevailed in that area, receiving 296 absentee votes to 202 for Mason.

That led to this comment from Goodwin, Mason's mother, who said. "I want to thank all the people who voted for me, I appreciate the votes from absentees, but people should try harder to come home to vote—they do not know what's happening on the reservation."

Roy, Auginaush and LaVoy campaigned together on a Team Unity platform and were supported by Tribal Chairman Terry Tibbetts and Tribal Council District III representative Umsy Tibbetts.

The election results leave them with a 4-1 majority on the Tribal Council.