Fairbanks tops Gish in White Earth Reservation election

Michael Fairbanks is the next chairman of the White Earth Nation. In a special election Aug. 6, he received 1,352 votes to Brent Gish’s 679 votes.

Fairbanks was the top vote-getter in most of the major precincts around the reservation. While Gish won the off-reservation absentee vote, Fairbanks did better with tribal members who voted absentee in person and also won the Minneapolis and Cass Lake precincts.

Fairbanks will fill out  the unexpired term of Terry Tibbetts, who was elected to a four-year term in 2016 but died last March after an illness.

Fairbanks brings plenty of experience to his new job. For the last 18 years, he has worked in tribal administration in various capacities, including as deputy director of the White Earth Band. Assuming no election challenge is filed, he will be sworn into office Aug. 16. (Park Rapids Enterprise)

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