Standing Rock judge ends primary dispute

Fort Yates, North Dakota (AP) 9-09

A judge on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation has cleared the way for a former tribal chairman and the current tribal leader to square off during September.

Judge B.J. Jones denied the request of tribal Vice Chairwoman Avis Little Eagle to be given another chance to make the two-person ballot.

Little Eagle finished third in the tribe’s primary election in July, one vote behind second-place finisher Ron His Horse Is Thunder, the current chairman. Only the top two vote-getters in the primary proceed to the general election.

His Horse Is Thunder will face former chairman Charles Murphy in the Sept. 30 election on the reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border. Murphy finished first in the primary, well ahead of both Little Eagle and His Horse Is Thunder.

Little Eagle took her case to tribal court, saying some people who wanted to vote for her were not allowed to. Election manager Dellis Agard says Little Eagle has now exhausted her legal remedies.