TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA — More than 3,500 Cherokee Nation citizens cast ballots Saturday in two different Tribal Council run-off elections and a third Tribal Council race that was so narrow the tribe’s Supreme Court ruled another election be held.
Unofficial voting results from the Cherokee Nation Election Commission show Bryan Warner garnered 619 votes to Natalie Fullbright’s 526 votes in Sequoyah County’s District 6 race.
Former school teacher Wanda Hatfield won the at-large Tribal Council seat, receiving 754 votes to Betsy Swimmer’s 697 votes.
In District 14 Rogers and Tulsa counties, Keith Austin won with 498 votes to William Pearson’s 425 votes. Pearson was the certified winner in the tribe’s June 27 General Election with 534 to Austin’s 533 votes. The recount results had Pearson with 525 votes and Austin with 519 votes. The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court granted a motion to hold a new election since the recount in the tight race between the candidates could not be mathematically certain.
Warner, Hatfield and Austin will join Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Rex Jordan, David Walkingstick, Shawn Crittenden, Dick Lay and Buel Anglen to be officially sworn into office at 10:30 a.m., Friday, August 4, during an inauguration ceremony at Sequoyah High School’s gym in Tahlequah.
The Cherokee Nation Election Commission is expected to certify the unofficial results today. Candidates have until Wednesday, July 29, to request a recount. The election appeal deadline is Monday, August 3.