Smith to Run Again for Cherokee Chief

Dec 23, 2013

Former Chief Chad Smith
Credit File Photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation has announced that he will run for his old job in 2015.

The Tulsa World reports Chad Smith announced his candidacy during a news conference in downtown Tulsa on Monday.

Smith served three terms as chief from 1999 to 2011, when he lost to Bill John Baker. That election included four recounts, a federal intervention and a re-vote.

Smith opposed voting rights for Cherokee freedmen, who are descendants of former slaves. In 2007, he led a campaign to pass a tribal constitutional amendment to bar them from voting. But he lost the re-election campaign after federal officials pressured the tribe to have a second election and count the freedmen votes.