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Members of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe will select a new president and vice president Thursday, as voters decide who will replace former President L. Jace Killsback, who resigned in October.

Geri Small and Rynalea Whiteman Pena are the two choices for president, having advanced as the top vote-getters in the Dec. 11 primary election. Both presidents and vice presidents are elected to two-year terms.

Small previously served as the tribe’s president from 2000 to 2004 before losing her re-election bid, then claimed the top elected office again from 2008 to 2010. She works as the chief professional officer for the Boys and Girls Club of the Northern Cheyenne Nation.

Pena works as the transportation manager for Northern Cheyenne Head Start. This is her first race for an elected tribal position, Tribal Secretary Melissa Lonebear said.

Vice President Conrad Fisher, who has been the tribe’s acting president since Killsback’s resignation, has also opted out of running for re-election, after he decided to resign in August. At the tribal council’s request, he later agreed to remain in office until a new president and vice president are sworn in.

Running for his open seat are Terry Beartusk and Winfield Russell.

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Voting takes place until 7 p.m. on Jan. 17. Voting locations for each district are as follows:

  • Ashland District at the Ashland Community Hall.
  • Birney District at the Birney Community Hall.
  • Busby District at the Northern Cheyenne Tribal School Cafeteria.
  • Lame Deer District at the Little Wolf Capitol Building.
  • Muddy District at the Muddy Community Hall.

The winners will be sworn in Jan. 21.

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Morning Reporter

General assignment reporter for the Billings Gazette.