Bruner and Hill to face off for Principal Chief

Bruner and Hill to face off for Principal Chief
Muscogee (Creek) went back to the polls for a second time in the primary contest to elect leaders in the tribe. (MN File Photo)

Voter turnout for second election higher than first pending certification of results

by Angel Ellis, Reporter

OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– According to the unofficial election results, 5,137 Muscogee (Creek) Nation voters turned out to vote in a redo primary election to select tribal leaders for the Offices of Principal Chief, Second Chief and National Council seats.

Overall ballots for the Principal Chief increased in the latest round of voting by 137 ballots.

In the first election, which was deemed null and void after being called into question by Principal Chief Candidate Lucian Tiger, 5,000 voters cast ballots for the Chief office.

On Nov. 2, the unofficial results reported by the MCN Election board showed a total of 5,137 votes for the Office of Principal Chief.

While none of the numbers are official until Nov. 8, Candidate for Principal Chief David Hill took the lead with 1966 votes or 38.27% of the ballots.  In the first election that was thrown out, Hill earned 1272 votes. His lead grew in the latest poll by 694 votes.

A narrow margin of votes separated Chief Candidates Bim Stephen Bruner and Lucian Tiger, a margin that did that not charge much between the voided and current election.

Bim Stephen Bruner made the run-off with 1172 votes, which was 133 more ballots in his favor than the previous round. He won 1039 in the first attempt.

Lucian Tiger came in behind Bruner with 1161 votes on Nov. 2, missing the run-off by 11 ballots, 132 more ballots than the previous round.

The unofficial results for Second Chief show Del Beaver as the leader in the race with 3,480 votes and 69.39 percent. With more than 51% of the ballots, Beaver wins the contest and will not be in the run-off.

In Creek District, Joe Hicks and Dean Hughes will appear in the run-off.

Incumbent Darrell Proctor has won his seat in McIntosh district, earning 69.75% of the votes. He will not have to advance on to the general election.

In the Muskogee district, Laura Harjo-King will be in the run-off with Mary Crawford.

Randall Hicks has secured the Okfuskee seat, securing 67.39% percent of the votes. He will not need to advance to the general election.

Voters will be choosing between Carmin Tecumseh-Williams and William Lowe as they advance to the run-off.  Tecumseh-Williams lead the district 1509 votes and Lowe secured 1248 votes to make the Dec. 14 General election.

Anna Marshall and Rufus Scott will be the voter’s options for the Tukvpvtce district as the candidates advance on to the general election.

In Wagoner District, voters will come back in Dec. to decide between candidates Charles McHenry who had the lead but fell short of the 51% needed to secure the seat and Dierdra Soap.

This primary election was monitored by an observation team from the Carter Center at the request of the Election Board and Principal Chief James Floyd.

Just days before the election, Candidate Bim Stephen Bruner filed an injunction with the courts that resulted in a court order on absentee ballots.

MCN District Court ordered the MCN Election Board to continue accepting and securing absentee ballots from Nov. 4 through Nov. 9.  A hearing about those ballots has been set for Nov. 7.

Mvskoke Media staff was invited to stream video on the collection, transport and processing of the absentee ballots. That footage is available on the Mvskoke Media Facebook page.

Election results remain unofficial until certified official by the election board on Nov. 8.

Mvskoke Media will be providing updates on hearings and the status of official results as they become available.

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