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Four Tribal Member Candidates Vie for Seats on the Sawyer County Board of Supervisors

By Joe Morey

News Editor

In the forthcoming Sawyer County Board of Supervisors election, our tribal community faces a time when relations between the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribe and it’s fellow neighbors within the County couldn’t be more important, between issues such as the ATV trails through the Reservation, township road usage and tribal member landowner taxation issues, to jail and policing. Issues that could shape the trajectory of our region for years to come. Three tribal member candidates and a write-in, each deeply committed to advancing our shared values and representing our collective interests, have emerged as great choices to represent LCO on the county level. What sets them apart is not merely their individual capabilities but their unified vision for progress and prosperity.

In this issue, I have their submitted written words to share with you why they are a great choice for both the Tribe and the County.

Why Your Vote Matters:

The upcoming county board of supervisors election presents a pivotal opportunity for our community to shape its future direction. The collective vision and commitment to progress embodied by our tribal candidates offer a future of continued open communications between the Tribe and County. By casting your vote in support of these candidates, you are not only endorsing their individual platforms but also affirming your belief in a future characterized by inclusivity, prosperity, and sustainability for all.

It is imperative that we seize this opportunity to make our voices heard and elect tribal member representatives who will advocate tirelessly on behalf of our community. Whether it's advancing social equity, fostering economic growth, or safeguarding our tribal rights, the decisions made by our county board of supervisors will have far-reaching implications for generations to come. Let us come together as a community and embrace the power of our collective voice to shape a brighter tomorrow.

In conclusion, the importance of voting for Chris Rusk, Tweed Shuman, Brian Bisonette and writing in Curtis DeCora cannot be overstated. It’s important that we maintain a loud and shared Tribal voice grounded in shared values and a commitment to progress which offers a path forward that is inclusive, equitable, and sustainable. By electing these candidates to the county board of supervisors, we can chart a course towards a future that reflects the aspirations of our entire community, both LCO and our surrounding neighbors.


CHRIS RUSK, 11th District

My name is Chris Rusk and I have served as your District 11 supervisor for the past two years. I am a life-long resident of district 11, I have worked 18 years at the Lac Courte Oreilles Casino, and the last 8 years at our Housing Authority. I have just been re-appointed to my second term as Chairman of the Big Fish Golf corporation. This past two years has been a great learning experience. We accomplished many things. The court house remodel is about complete. There were items that the tribe and county had that were unresolved, we resolved. One thing that is an ongoing item is the ATV/UTV ordinance. I myself am an avid outdoor person and supporter of ATV/UTV riding. I have not opposed opening our district roads so we can access our businesses and constituents can do so by simply leaving their driveway. I have a great working relationship with the Snowmobile Alliance, and Tribe, and together we have come to agreement to repair a corridor of trail 777 on the tribe to make for better riding.

Together we can continue to make our District and our County, Better, Safer, and more enjoyable for all our residents.

 I’d like to ask for your support in this upcoming election and I will continue to do my best to do just that!

TWEED SHUMAN, 3rd District

It has been an honor to represent District 3 on the Sawyer County Board of Supervisors for the past 12 years. I am seeking re-election with your continued support on April 2nd. As a member of the Sawyer County Board and of the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board I am able to represent the Tribal issues and exercise the Tribes sovereignty within our two communities, keeping open lines of communication that has served very valuable for both our communities.

For the past 6 years I have served as your Sawyer County Board Chairman and I am thoroughly invested in our community as a 3rd generation owner / operator of a 200 acre Pure Bred Red Angus Cattle and Quarter Horse Ranch known as Shuman Cattle Company.  Ranch was established over 70 years ago in our current District 3 location!  Much Thanks and never possible without the generational forward-thinking actions of my Creamery / Butter making Great Grandfather Tweed W. Shuman. 

Instilled in me are all the critical decision-making processes, combined with the attention to detail planning of my Grandfather Wilbur John Shuman and my parents Thomas and Jeanette (Patrick)Shuman. I am very passionate in my leadership roles always remaining open minded, representing all of my constituents, for a common-sense approach, implementing all my decision-making skills in achieving a common goal.

It is extremely important to me, and I always emphasize the Fiscally responsible important role all of you expect of me and local Government. I will continue to demand excellence in performance with accountability of all my leadership roles.

The annual Financial planning process including the Budget is my number one priority! As your County Board representative and Tribal Governing Board along with the Chief Financial Officers realize these dollars supporting our budget come from the hard-working responsible tax paying citizens of Sawyer County.  I take great pride and am passionate in fulfilling this responsibility all of you have entrusted in my oversight and protection. I will always demand a thorough examination including evaluating, addressing, and eliminating any wasteful spending within our budget. I continually measure our accomplishments and areas needing improvements as the public comments and approves our balanced budgets, that meets all services and provides equally for all the citizens of Sawyer County and Lac Courte Oreilles. Again, I look forward to serving our community as your District 3 representative on the Sawyer County Board of Supervisors!

CURTIS DECORA, 6th District Write-In

Hi, my name is Curtis DeCora, and I’m running as a write-in for the Sawyer County Board of Supervisors, District 6.  District 6 includes the city of Hayward Wards 1 and 2.  As a lifelong resident of Sawyer County, born and raised in the village of New Post, and class of 2003 graduate from Hayward High School.  I have been actively involved in the community for 20+ years; from developing for-profit businesses, creating non-profit organizations, volunteering on various boards, and coaching youth sports.  Most of my adult life has involved living in the entrepreneurial world which included owning a hotel in Bayfield, Wisconsin, owning an award-winning marketing company, doing tourism marketing for the Chequamegon Bay region and Southern Sawyer County, operating as a subcontractor for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to help create microenterprises, owning a payment technology company serving the Lake Superior region, and helping multiple small businesses with marketing services, to name a few.  I’m also a proud tribal member with the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.  As such, my passion has always been rooted in economic development, entrepreneurship, and helping the people empower, develop and prosper.

As a write-in candidate my goal isn’t to push a personal agenda or ride political lines, it is to create lines of communication, bridge the gap between county and tribal issues.  I’m a strong advocate for transparency, communication, fairness, and overall, the least amount of government intervention as possible.  The people are what make a community great, the people are what make the community thrive, and the people are what make the community advance.  We are all in this together, and together we can all make decisions that further the advancement of our community regardless of your political affiliation. 

As you make your way to the ballot box on April 2nd, 2024, and consider the issues that are most important to you, and if that includes a people-first approach, I would be happy to represent you as a Sawyer County Board Supervisor. 


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