Photo caption: An Osage News File Photo from 2016 shows the Candidate Debates at the Osage Casino and Hotel in Skiatook.
The Osage News Editorial Board has canceled its upcoming Candidate Debates, scheduled for April 4 at the Osage Casino and Hotel in Tulsa.
The board met on March 12 and made the unanimous decision.
“Our community is only as safe and healthy as our most vulnerable members. We're sad to have to cancel the Congressional debates but we know it is in the best interest of protecting our community. We especially need to watch out for our elders, family members with conditions, and our broader Osage community members who have barriers to accessing quality health services,” said Editorial Board Vice Chair Tara Manthey.
“We know the debates are an important and trusted part of our election season and it is a priority of the Osage News to gather and present objective and thorough information about the candidates and their campaigns. We're looking at innovative ways to do that online if we aren't able to reschedule an in-person debate and will share these plans as soon as possible,” Manthey said.
The Osage News will produce videos of each candidate that will be posted to the News’ social media pages on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.
As for the upcoming election on June 1, the Osage Nation Election Office will be doing its best to accommodate those voters who have to stay home due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
“If you are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 and in-person voting, we highly encourage voters to request an absentee ballot,” said Alexis Rencountre, Osage Nation Elections Supervisor. “The deadline to request an absentee ballot is April 17th by the close of business. If the current health situation changes closer to the election, you can still surrender your absentee ballot vote at the polling site and vote in person.”
To download an Absentee Ballot Request Form, visit https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/elections/voter-information
With Osage tribal members staying home for the time being, the use of technology among potential voters will be more important now than ever. The Nation has also suspended all employee travel as of March 12, according to an all-employee email from Director of Operations Christian Johnson. For those employees already on travel, they were asked to return home immediately.
The cancellation of events such as the Osage Sovereignty Day Celebration, the Northern and Southern California Osage association meetings, the Texas Osage association meetings and now the Candidate Debates, Osage voters will be turning to social media and other online resources to get their information on candidates.
The good news, every candidate utilizes social media, whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Below is a list of candidate pages that can be found on social media.
Michael Bristow: Personal page and Michael Bristow Campaign
Melissa Dailey: Personal page and Melissa Goodfox Dailey for Osage Nation
Shannon L. Edwards: Personal page
Colt Herren: Personal page and Colt Herren for Osage Nation Congress
Billy Keene: Personal page and Billy Keene for Osage Nation Congress
Michael Kidder: Personal page
John Maker: Personal page and John Maker for Osage Nation Congress
Mary Jo Pratt: Personal page
Amanda Proctor: Personal page
Jodie Revard: Personal page
Pam Shaw: Personal page
Joe Tillman: Personal page under Joseph Dee Tillman
Jim Trumbly: Personal page and Jim Trumbly for Osage Congress
RJ Walker: Personal page
Maria Whitehorn: Personal page and public official page under Maria Whitehorn
Billy Keene: billykeene
Michael Kidder: kidder526
Mary Jo Pratt: maryjoforosagecongress
Jodie Revard: jodiepode
Joe Tillman: joetillman219
Jim Trumbly: trumblyjim
RJ Walker: rjwalkerjr
Mary Jo Pratt