Third candidate for Principal Chief files for candidacy on Dec. 28

ON Congressman Joe Tillman filed his candidacy for Principal Chief with the Wahzhazhe Elections office on Dec. 28, 2021. CODY HAMMER/Osage News

With a third candidate now seeking the Osage Nation Principal Chief’s office in the 2022 General Election, there will be an April 4 primary election pending candidate certifications.

Joe Tillman, now in his second term as an ON Congressman, filed for candidacy with the Wahzhazhe Elections Office in Pawhuska on Dec. 28. Tillman, 61, won his two Congressional office terms in the June 2016 and 2020 elections. 

The filing period for Osages interested in seeking Executive Branch Office runs through Jan. 10, 2022.

Incumbent Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear is seeking his third term in the June 6, 2022, General Election. Congressional Speaker Angela Pratt filed seeking Principal Chief office on Dec. 7, the same day Standing Bear did as well.

With three candidates in a single Executive Branch race now subject to certification, the Election Board and office staff anticipate holding an April 4 primary election to determine which two candidates’ names will appear on the June 6 General Election ballot. All candidates will be subject to background checks by the ON Attorney General’s Office for any felonies on their records before they are certified by the Election Board to appear on the ballot.

In the Assistant Principal Chief’s race, current ON Congressman RJ Walker is the lone candidate who has filed as of Dec. 28.

2022 will mark the second time in the Osage reformed government’s history that a primary election will be held. The first primary election took place on March 10, 2014. In that primary, Standing Bear and two candidates ran for Principal Chief and five Assistant Principal Chief candidates, including incumbent Raymond Red Corn, ran for office.

Red Corn, who won two Assistant Principal Chief terms and previously served on Congress (2006-2014), announced in October he is not seeking re-election and will be retiring from public office.

For more information on the elections, filing for candidacy, or to register or update addresses for voting, and to request absentee ballots, contact the Election Office toll-free at (877) 560-5286 or visit its website at