Penticton Indian Band elects new chief

Chad Eneas (far right) shown with fellow candidates (from left) Joe Jack, Clinton George and incumbent chief Jonathan Kruger. Eneas is the new chief of the Penticton Indian Band, following last night's band election.
Image Credit: Contributed

PENTICTON - The Penticton Indian Band has elected a new chief.

Chad Eneas triumphed over incumbent Jonathan Kruger and fellow candidate Joe Jack at last night’s election, Oct. 19.

Eneas secured 179 votes to Kruger’s 124, with Joe Jack receiving 27 votes, according to a Penticton Indian Band media release. Clinton George was orginally a candidate for chief but dropped out of the race.

Eneas will take the chief’s role immediately and will be part of the next chief and council meeting on Nov. 1.

"It wasn’t the expectation I was looking for,” former Chief Jonathan Kruger says. He served the band as chief for the past eight years.

Kruger said the results indicate the band wanted change.

“The people spoke and I will respect that,” he says. Kruger may let his name stand for council.

“I’ll see what kind of councillors are going to be there, I may stay in, I may step out,” he said, adding it’s not clear right now.

Kruger says it's been an honour and privilege to work for his community and he's proud of the legacy of success he's leaving behind, pointing to the roughly $15 million worth of community capital infrastructure and economic development.

“I gave all my heart, my blood, sweat and tears. I was always looking out for our best interests,” he says.

Nominations for positions on council will be held Wednesday, Oct. 26, with council elections will be held on Dec. 7.

All the unsuccessful candidates for chief, including Clinton George, are eligible to run for council.

— This story was updated at 10:16 a.m. Oct. 20, 2016 to add information contained in a press release issued by the Penticton Indian Band.

— This story was updated at 11:54 a.m., Oct. 20, 206 to add comments from the former Chief.

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