The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians held its primary elections for Tribal Council yesterday, September 5, 2013. Here are the unofficial winners in each community, as reported by the Cherokee One Feather newspaper and the Tribe’s Board of Elections. Each community has two council members and they serve two-year terms. Several incumbents lost their seats, but representation in the majority of communities stays the same.
Big Cove Tribal Council
Teresa McCoy and Perry Shell
Yellowhill Tribal Council
David Wolfe and Alan “B” Ensley
Birdtown Tribal Council
Gene “Tunney” Crowe Jr. and Albert Rose
Painttown Tribal Council
Tommye Saunooke and Terri Henry
Wolftown Tribal Council
Bo Crowe and Dennis Edward (Bill) Taylor
Cherokee Co./Snowbird Tribal Council
Adam Wachacha and Brandon Jones
In this election several incumbents lost their seats, and at least one former Council member (Teresa McCoy from the Big Cove Community ) is returning after being away from Council for several years. The Tribe’s economy is strong and the during their tenure the new Council can expect to be presented with some big-money issues, including construction of a new casino in Cherokee County, construction of new Justice Center and construction of a new hospital (the latter two in Cherokee proper). I would not expect, however, any substantial change in Tribal Council decision-making.
NEXT TRIBAL ELECTION – 2015
The new Tribal Council will be seated in October when the Board of Elections certifies the election results. The next election cycle will be in 2015 and will include elections for Tribal Council and for Principal Chief and Vice-Chief. The big question in 2015 will be whether incumbent Principal Chief Michell Hicks and incumbent Vice-Chief Larry Blythe will run for re-election. Each has served multiple terms but there are no term limits in Tribal law.