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Five incumbents and one prior Congresswoman reelected in 2024 election

Joe Tillman, Jodie Revard, Billy Keene, John Maker, Maria Whitehorn and Pam Shaw elected to 9th Osage Nation Congress. Constitutional amendment passes.

Osage voters reelected five Congressional incumbents and reelected one prior Congresswoman in the 2024 Osage Nation General Election.

According to unofficial election results, Joe Tillman, Jodie Revard, Billy Keene, John Maker and Pam Shaw won their reelection bids and voters elected Maria Whitehorn, who previously served two terms. The six candidates received the highest number of votes from the 2,030 Osages who voted this year from a ballot list of 16 total candidates.

Voters also chose to amend the 2006 Osage Constitution with 76.9% voting for the amendment question on the ballot asking whether to allow appointees to be confirmed by the Legislative Branch during special sessions in addition to the two regular sessions each year. Constitutional amendment questions require 65% of voters to approve the question with a “yes” vote, per the Constitution.

At 11:51 p.m., Wahzhazhe Elections Supervisor Alexis Rencountre announced the results in front of the Minerals Council Chambers building on the ON government campus with Election Board members and polling place workers standing with her.

Wahzhazhe Elections Supervisor Alexis Rencountre announces the results at 11:51 p.m. on June 3, 2024. ECHO REED/Osage News

The deadline for any recounts or challenges to the election results is Friday, June 7. The Election Board is scheduled to meet June 12 and will certify the results, pending any challenges or requests for recounts.

“I was very surprised and very happy and delighted,” Tillman said after hearing the results. “There were so many good candidates out there and I tip my hat to them. It’s not easy, it’s a lot of hard work and I just talked to one, I said ‘more Osages know you now, you didn’t win, but more Osages know you now than ever before and we’re going to have another election in two years.’”

Tillman received the most votes with 1,202 (11.2%) and will now serve a third Congressional term.

“When I heard the results, my first reaction of course was thankfulness. I’m grateful and humbled by those who chose to support me for another term,” Revard said. “There are no words to describe how thankful I am, truly.”

Revard came in second with 1,150 votes (10.7%) and will serve her second consecutive term.

Coming in third, Keene received 1,061 votes (9.9%) and will also serve a second consecutive term. “Am blessed and thankful to serve another term as an Osage Congressman. I did it dad,” Keene wrote on his social media.

Maker will serve a fourth consecutive Congressional term and placed fourth with 976 votes (9.1%).

Whitehorn said “I’m so pleased, it took me a while to process it, but I’m so pleased. It was all incumbents and myself, right? They don’t even have to do an orientation … With me, I kind of know the processes, I know they made a few changes, anyway I’m excited.”

Whitehorn will serve her third Congressional term after taking her oath of office. She won two Congress terms in the 2012 and 2016 elections. This year, Whitehorn finished fifth with 953 votes (8.8%).

Pam Shaw finished sixth with 915 votes (8.5%) and will serve a second consecutive term. “I’m thrilled, of course, I’m honored and blessed to be able to serve another four years. We were in COVID last time, so there wasn’t much traveling and the added element of campaigning while being in session, that stuff was different but it was good,” she said.

According to the results, a total of 2,030 Osages voted out of 18,774 registered voters or 10.8%.

In announcing the results, Rencountre also thanked the Wahzhazhe Elections Board members and Assistant Election Supervisor Courtney Piearcy, adding “these people work really hard, it’s a lot of hours and it’s a thankless job and I couldn’t do it without them.”

Election Board Chair Shannon Lockett thanked Rencountre, adding “she works very hard and we all appreciate her as well and it does take all of us – thank you everybody that helped.”

2024 Inauguration Day is scheduled Saturday, July 13, and will take place at the Bartlesville Osage Casino & Hotel for those elected to take their oaths of office.

Author

  • Benny Polacca

    Title: Senior Reporter

    Email: bpolacca@osagenation-nsn.gov

    Instagram: @bpolacca

    Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

    Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

    Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

    Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

    Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.

Benny Polacca
Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org

Title: Senior Reporter

Email: bpolacca@osagenation-nsn.gov

Instagram: @bpolacca

Topic Expertise: Government, Tribal Government, Community

Languages spoken: English, basic knowledge of Spanish and French

Benny Polacca (Hopi/ Havasupai/ Pima/ Tohono O’odham) started working at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter in Pawhuska, Okla., where he’s covered various stories and events that impact the Osage Nation and Osage people. Those newspaper contributions cover a broad spectrum of topics and issues from tribal government matters to features. As a result, Polacca has gained an immeasurable amount of experience in covering Native American affairs, government issues and features so the Osage readership can be better informed about the tribal current affairs the newspaper covers.

Polacca is part of the Osage News team that was awarded the Native American Journalists Association's Elias Boudinet Free Press Award in 2014 and has won numerous NAJA media awards, as well as awards from the Oklahoma Press Association and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter, for storytelling coverage and photography.

Polacca earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and also participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota where he was introduced to the basics of journalism and worked with seasoned journalists there and later at The Forum daily newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. area where he worked as the weeknight reporter.

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