Tahlequah, OK – Bill John Baker has been elected the new principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, but his 11-vote margin of victory may spur a recount.
Baker was declared the winner Sunday morning, with about 15,000 votes cast. Tribal officials spent the night in private, considering whether to accept or reject provisional ballots, until they finally declared a winner.
Tahlequah, OK – Jobs issue at center of Cherokee chief campaign
CLAREMORE, Okla. (AP) How many jobs are being produced by the Cherokee Nation and who holds those positions has become a central issue in the campaign to see who will lead Oklahoma's largest American Indian tribe for the next four years.
The contentious campaign will end Saturday, when voters decide whether to keep 12-year incumbent Chad Smith as the tribe's principal chief or elevate longtime tribal councilman and Tahlequah businessman Bill John Baker to that position.