PABLO – The 2013 Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council elections have claimed an incumbent council member.
Len Two Teeth will defeat current Elmo District representative Reuben Mathias in a run-off held Saturday, and advance to the Dec. 14 general election.
Two Teeth and Mathias had tied for second with 280 votes each in the Nov. 2 primary, forcing the run-off.
Even with 225 absentee and contested ballots still to be counted Wednesday, Two Teeth will be the winner. He got almost 73 percent of the 645 votes cast and counted Saturday, and holds a 293-vote lead over Mathias, 469-176.
Two Teeth carried all eight districts on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the run-off, all but two by comfortable margins, in the ballots counted so far.
He’ll face another challenger, Junior Caye, on Dec. 14. Caye was the leading vote-getter of the 43 primary candidates for five council seats.
The top two in each district advanced. Mathias held a 282-280 lead after all the Nov. 2 votes were initially tallied, but a recount produced the 280-280 tie.
The other four incumbents made it out of the crowded primary, although two finished in the No. 2 spot.
In the other races, challenger Shelly Fyant will face incumbent Jim Malatare in the Arlee District, challenger Patty Stevens goes up against CSKT Chairman Joe Durglo in the St. Ignatius District, incumbent Steve Lozar faces challenger Vernon Finley in the Polson District, and incumbent Carole DePoe Lankford’s foe in the Ronan District is Tracey Burland.