Ketchikan Indian Community’s clinic and administration building on Tongass Avenue is shown in 2013. (KRBD)

Seven candidates are running for three seats on Ketchikan Indian Community’s Tribal Council in an election scheduled for early next year.

Lloyd Ruaro, Judy Leask Guthrie and Gianna Saanuga Willard are each seeking a new three-year term. They’ll face challenges from David Jensen, Sharyl Whitesides Yeisley, Ruschelle “Pebbles” Hull and former Tribal Administrator Randy Williams.

The tribe’s candidacy requirements exclude anyone employed by the tribe in the previous 90 days. Williams’ contract as administrator ended in October, and the tribal council waived that requirement so he could run. 

The tribe’s president, Trixie Bennett, said that’s because Williams stepped down from the council last year to take over as tribal administrator on an interim basis. The exception allows him to run for his old seat. 

“And due to the timing of the hiring and onboarding of our new permanent tribal administrator, Ruby Steele, this past October and to ensure continuous leadership in the tribal administrator role, the Tribal Council publicly and transparently voted to make an exception for Randy Williams, on the required amount of time between the KIC employment and eligibility for running for tribal council,” Bennett explained.

Bennett said it’s not unheard of to make an exception like this for a candidate.

“While they’re not common, they have been put to use before,” Bennett said.

Yeisley is on the tribe’s Advisory Health Board. Hull is the current chair of that board.

Amber Williams-Baldwin is running unopposed for one of the two open seats on the health board. Both seats have two year terms. 

The tribe’s annual election is set for Jan. 16 at Ketchikan’s Ted Ferry Civic Center. 

Raegan Miller is a Report for America corps member for KRBD. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution at