Cherokees voted for Chuck Hoskin Jr. to be the new principal chief of the Cherokee Nation Saturday, as unofficial election results have the former CN Secretary of State beating out Dick Lay.
By the time the CN Election Commission posted the results of Saturday’s walk-in votes, Hoskin was ahead of Lay, 3,204 to 2,580. With the absentee ballots and early walk-ins counted Sunday morning, Hoskin’s lead grew to 7,819 (57.93 percent) to 3,691 (27.34 percent), giving him the majority of the vote.
Hoskin’s running mate, Bryan Warner, will soon serve as the deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation. Warner received 59.27 percent of the vote, while Meredith Frailey received 40.73 percent.
Before learning of the results, Hoskin, Warner, and their supporters gathered at The Venue in Tahlequah for a watch party. Hoskin thanked the crowd and said the evening was “a celebration of democracy for the Cherokee people.”
“Generations ago, the rest of world counted us out,” he said. “They didn’t think we could exercise a democracy and a nation of laws, adhere to the rule of law, and have a constitutional government. The rest of the world didn’t think we could do it, but we did it. We did it before removal, we resisted removal, and when we were removed what did we do? We reconstituted the great Cherokee democracy right here in Tahlequah.”
In the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council District 1 race, unofficial results have Incumbent Rex Jordan beating out Ryan Sierra, 57.73 percent to 42.27 percent.
The District 3 Tribal Council race appears to be headed towards a run-off election between Deb Proctor and Wes Nofire. Unofficial results for District 3 were: Proctor, 29.61 percent; Nofire, 29.41 percent; Billy Flint, 12.16 percent; RJ Robbins, 10.37 percent; Jim Cosby, 9.07 percent; Larry Dean Pritchett, 7.78 percent; and Brandon Girty, 1.6 percent.
Daryl Legg won the District 7 Tribal Council seat, receiving 57.10 percent of the votes. Gary Trad Lattimore received 33.14 percent of the vote, while Ron Goff brought in 9.76 of the votes.
Incumbent Shawn Crittenden will serve another term for the District 8 Tribal Council seat, after he received 82.87 percent of the votes. Ralph Keen II received 11.27 percent.
District 12 Tribal Council will go to a run-off election between Dora L. Smith Patzkowski and Phyllis Lay. The unofficial results for District 12 were: Patzkowski, 33.07 percent; Lay, 29.94 percent; Todd M. Branstetter, 22.88 percent; and Don Scott, 14.11 percent.
Joe Deer ran uncontested for the District 13 Tribal Council seat.
Incumbent Keith Austin will serve another term as the District 14 Tribal Councilor, receiving 57.33 percent of the votes. Cara Cowan Watts took 42.47 percent.
The At-Large Tribal Council election will also go to a run-off election. Julie Coats, who received 45.36 percent of the votes, will go against Johnny Jack Kidwell, who received 30.78 percent of the votes. Steve Adair and Pamela Fox received 16.11 percent and 6.50 percent of the votes, respectively.
The Cherokee Nation Election Commission still had 406 challenge ballots to process on Sunday. The results will be certified this week.
Candidates have until June 5 to request a recount, and until June 10 to filed an election appeal. Run-off elections will be held June 27. For more information, visit www.cherokee.org.