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Hart loses bid for re-election in special tribal vote

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HOGANSBURG — A St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council chief who appeared to have won re-election to his post in June before the results of the race were tossed out by the tribe’s election commission was defeated in a special election Saturday.

Unofficial results released Saturday night by the Tribal Council show Beverly Cook outpolling Randy Hart by a 477-451 vote. Six ballots were voided, and 29 ballots were declared to be spoiled.

Mr. Hart had been the top vote-getter in June with 436 votes, followed by Ms. Cook, 366, Gary Cole, 109, and Gerald Laughing, 47.

Shelley Jacobs, who led the field in the race for subchief in June, will retain her seat, leading the three-candidate field with 416 votes. Deborah Martin was the choice of 366 voters, and Andrew J. Cook rounded out the field with 120 votes.

The tribal Election Board conducted a review after a community member appealed the June election results, arguing that eligible voters were found to be in possession of campaign paraphernalia at the time they were casting their ballots.

“After reviewing the relevant evidence and the sworn testimonies of several community members, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Election Board was satisfied with the evidence provided,” the Election Board said in a statement released on the Tribal Council website.

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