Leonard Rivers was elected to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Tribal Council in the February 23, special election that was held to fill a vacant seat.
“Congratulations to Mr. Rivers and to all those who ran. It was a good race,” said SRPMIC President Diane Enos.
In the special election, 507 District I (Salt River) Community members came out to vote. It was a close race between Rivers and fellow candidate Rito Lopez; Rivers won by seven votes, with 164 for Rivers and 157 for Lopez.
Candidate Rema “Serena” Juste won 83 votes, Michael John Landis 27 votes and Zoar Waubanascum-Fulwilder 68 votes. There were also five write-in candidates: Julian Martinez (1), Norman Wood (1), Anthony Collins (4), Eric C. Schurz (1) and Dorine Andrews (1).
Current Council members congratulated Rivers on his election and complimented the other candidates on their campaigns. They encouraged the candidates to try again in future elections.
Rivers was excited to be elected.
“It feels good to be elected to Council again. I know it’s going to be a challenge, and it’s going to take a lot of commitment to address some of the issues that the Community is facing,” said Rivers. “I am up to the challenge, and I think working with the other Council members a lot of good things can be accomplished.”
Rivers looks forward to focusing on education during the two remaining years left in his term.
“Education has always been a soft spot and I look forward to trying to bring back more monies to scholarship programs and to the schools for programs that are needed,” said Rivers. “Of course, the other things are Health and Human Services and the welfare needs of our people that need to be addressed again. I think with Community Council we can do that.”
Rivers would like to thank the people who supported him, and the Community in general.
“I have a lot of friends and family here, and I am going to try to do the best for everybody,” said Rivers.
Rivers previously served as SRPMIC Vice-President from 2004 through 2008.