Quechan Tribal Council second election runs into issues
WINTERHAVEN, Calif. – After a second council election in the last six months, the Quechan Indian Nation has results and the winning candidates want in as soon as possible. Last December Quechan Tribal community members voted for Mike Jackson as new president and Michael Jack as Vice President of their council. But following the Quechan constitution the community had five days from election day to contest results.
Four members did just that prompting a second election held Monday, in which Jackson and Jack won again. That means they would replace the seats of Keeny Escalanti and Emilio Escalanti. But the newly elected claim the Escalanti’s pose a challenge to their succession.”Especially the president and the vice president, they lost their seats by a wide margin but they’re refusing to step down blatantly they’ve taken the votes away from our people and members here are really upset, and they’re not going to take it anymore,” said Mike Jackson Sr., newly elected Quechan President.
Newly elected councilwoman Cryselle Montague-Uribe claims the five-day waiting period was waived in this round of election and now they want their turn in the seat. She said, “Election ordinance states that the results of this contest election shall be final, that was the expectation, however the current sitting council, by a majority, all chose not to accept the official abstract of the election.”
Monday’s winners and their supporters sat inside council chambers awaiting current president Escalanti to address the news. As soon as he walked in our reporter was escorted out of the room. The swift removal was later attributed to a Quechan Tribal member only rule.
UPDATE: 6/17/15 – According to a Quechan Tribal voter newly elected council members were sworn in Wednesday morning. Mike Jackson will serve the community as president, Michael Jack as Vice President, Cryselle Montague-Uribe as council member. Three incumbents: Juliana Comet, James Montague, and Virgil Smith, return.