The Chukchansi Tribe is trying to move forward after months of feuding. More than half of the tribe showed up to Saturday's election. The votes were in favor of Reggie Lewis filling a vacant tribal council seat and supporting the previously elected council members.
Tribe Spokesperson Roger Salazar said, "The Tribal Council wanted all Chukchansi members to be heard and as chairman Lewis said, they spoke loudly and clearly."
But every member wasn't heard during the election meeting. A few dozen people were barred from it, including Claudia Gonzales. She spoke up outside the meeting.
"I am a tribal member and I feel like my rights have been taken away from me and I don't know where to turn," she said.
The group, led by Morris Reid has been at odds with Reggie Lewis for months. Reid claims Lewis refused to step down after losing a December election. The dispute led to a violent takeover of the tribal headquarters. Three people were injured and the tribal office was destroyed during the conflict.
Reggie Lewis expressed his feelings during Saturday's election, "I'm at a loss to explain how the so called leaders would allow that to happen. It's not showing me that they know what is best for the people."
Reid's group is banned from casino property so the tribe mailed out absentee ballots for this latest election. Reid said the ballots were numbered and his supporters didn't use them, in fear of retaliation. He declined to talk on camera Monday but said the fight isn't over yet.
Disciplinary hearings are set for some of the people involved with the takeover but the tribe wouldn't say who those people are.
The newly elected council will be sworn in on March 26th.