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Assistant Chief candidate files for County Commissioner seat

Thomas Trumbly filed paperwork April 15 seeking elected office for Osage County’s District 1

Thomas Trumbly, a candidate for assistant principal chief of the Osage Nation, filed April 15 to seek another elected office: County Commissioner for Osage County’s District 1.

Trumbly received 18 percent of the vote for assistant chief in the primary election in early April, far less than frontrunner R.J. Walker, who had almost 68 percent. Had they been vying for a state office – where receiving more than half the vote in the primary ends the election process – Walker would already have been deemed the winner. Osage election law requires the top two recipients of primary votes to advance to the general election.

The Osage Constitution bars the principal chief from holding any office, elected or appointed, within the tribe or with another tribe or county, state or federal government. It holds the assistant chief to the same qualification standards and dictates that the assistant chief shall serve “in the same manner” as the chief but does not specifically mention disqualifications.

“He can’t do both jobs, but nothing prohibits him from running for both,” said Attorney General Clint Patterson.

In his candidate filings for county commissioner, Trumbly also revealed that he was charged with conspiracy in 1989 in Canadian County. He received a deferred sentence, which means that the charge was dismissed if he successfully completed the sentence. On the disclosure form for the state, Trumbly said he was sentenced to one year and he completed that sentence in 1990, and that he received a full pardon for the offense.

The Osage Constitution requires all elected officials to have “never been convicted of a felony.” Under that standard, Trumbly is qualified because a deferred sentence is not considered a conviction.

In the race for county commissioner, Trumbly is the lone Democrat seeking office. On the Republican side, four candidates are running: Incumbent Randall Jones of Pawhuska; Clay Hughs and Johnny Brazee, both of Pawhuska; and Everett Piper of Copan.

District 3 County Commissioner Darren McKinney, who is Osage, is not seeking reelection and six men are vying to replace him: Republicans Joshua Bennett, Charlie Cartwright, and Chad Ray; and Democrats Jimmy Grigg, Joe Williams and Ted Smith. All District 3 candidates are from Fairfax except Williams, a former city councilor from Tulsa, and Ray, who has a Ralston address.


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Louise Red Corn
Louise Red Corn has suffered from wanderlust for decades: She has lived and worked as a journalist and photographer in Rome, Italy, New York City, Detroit, Kentucky, Mississippi and Oklahoma, where she published The Bigheart Times for 12 years. She loves diving in-depth into just about any topic but is especially fond of covering legal issues, perhaps because her parents were both lawyers. She is married to Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn, who enticed her to move to the Osage Reservation in 2004. She and her husband live south of Pawhuska with one extremely large dog named Max, one extremely energetic dog named Pepper, and, if he bothers to make an appearance, a surly cat named Stinky.

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