February 2023 (Section I)

Vol. XXIV, No. 1
Muckleshoot indian reservation, wash.
February 2023
From the Front Page

Tribal Council Candidate Winners: Tribe Chooses Its Leaders

Virginia Cross, Leeroy Courville Jr. and Jessica Garcia top an excellent field of candidates

Think fast! Who was the last NEW member elected to the Tribal Council? Hint: This individual was described in the paper as being “new blood.” The answer will be at the end. (Don’t peek!) A vigorous and spirited campaign season came to its conclusion when the polls closed at 8:00 PM on Monday, January 16, 2023. After four consecutive elections where all three incumbents were sent back for another term, the Muckleshoot Tribal Council now has a new member. He is Leeroy Courville Jr.,who is proudly following in the footsteps his late father, LeeRoy Courville Sr., a long-time council member who was well known for his hard work and dedication to the community, a friend to all.

Virginia Cross again led the balloting, finishing with 368 votes, followed by Leeroy with345 and Jessica Garcia with 339.Three-term incumbent Jeremy James finished fourth with 259 votes. Jeremy was first elected in 2014, and we join the entire Muckleshoot community in thanking him for his hard work, dedication and many accomplishments during his nine years in office.

Brysen Jansen also topped the 200-vote mark with 221 votes, and Darren Red thunder came close with 197. Andrew Burdette also topped 100, earning 136 votes. Rounding out the field were Rhonda Harnden (87), Leo V. LaClair (69) and Hailey Joe (67).The Muckleshoot Tribal Council consists of nine members. Elections are held annually on the third Monday in January, with three seats up for election each year. Members serve three year terms. Swearing-in ceremonies for this year’s electees – Virginia Cross, Leeroy Courville Jr. and Jessica Garcia – will take place in April. Friends and family are invited to attend. Alight lunch will be served. So.... who was the last “new blood” on the council? Donny Stevenson in 2018!

Jessica Garcia-Jones

First, I would like to congratulate the Legendary Ms.Virginia Cross on her Re-election, it’s an honor to spend this time working along side her. She’s a beast!

I would also like to congratulate Leeroy being newly elected to Tribal Council by the people. Best wishes on your first term!

I would also like to take time to thank Jeremy for his years of dedicated service, on Tribal Council. Our team was able to accomplish so much together and your part in it did not go unnoticed. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

To all the candidates that ran, keep at it. We’re all here for the betterment of our people, and Tribe. Your contributions are meaningful and appreciated.

For my “day-ones” and new supporters, thank you for believing in me to represent our community for a third term! I’m humbled, honored, and grateful. I’m here to work for you, and with you, and I will continue this work with the same energy and level of commitment.

For the most part I think it was a pretty clean campaign season. As for myself, I know I do my best to run in a positive way and not try to drag anyone’s name through the mud. My hope is that everyone on thecampaign trail does the same. We’re a close knit small community and in the best interest of the Tribe I believe we can campaign with dignity and respect for others. All you have to do is showcase yourself, your work, and be a good Human.

Last but certainly not least, I have to thank my husband, Matt Jones, my daughters, sister Madrienne, brother Josh, my Mom, and the rest of my family, for their love and support, not only during campaign season, but through it all. I work a lot, and they’re a huge support system, I can’t do this without them.

With Love & Great Respect,
Jessica Garcia-Jones

Leeroy Courville, Jr.

I would like to thank everyone who came out to vote in this year’s election - it is so important. I am so honored and lost for words. Thank you for having faith in me.

This has put me into the footsteps of those who came before me, my father’s footsteps. I hope to make him proud in the same way I hope to make you all proud. This is so important to me, and I will work hard to carry this work with equality and respect for all.

To all the others who ran this year - you did a great job! Please continue to carry that dedication for our People - it means something!I’m excited for the future of our People!

─ Leeroy Courville, Jr.

Virginia Cross

I'd like to recognize everyone that took part in the 2023 Muckleshoot Tribal Elections – the fine candidates, the excellent election workers, and most of all, our tribal members. Muckleshoot elections are carried out in a manner that we can all be proud of, and I have been honored to be a part of this process for many years. I’ve been blessed to have been a witness to and part of the remarkable progress our tribe has made during my lifetime. This is a good time to be Native, and a good time to be Muckleshoot. I thank you all for your support. I will continue to put my heart and soul into our peoples’ work.

─ Virginia Cross

More from This Edition

Vol. XXIV, No. 1

February 2023 (Section I)

view pdf

About the Muckleshoot Messenger

The Muckleshoot Messenger is a Tribal publication created by the Muckleshoot Office of Media Services. Tribal community members and Tribal employees are welcome to submit items to the newspaper such as news, calendar items, photos, poems, and artwork.