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HomeGovernmentCandidatesFour Executive Branch candidates certified for 2018 Osage Nation election

Four Executive Branch candidates certified for 2018 Osage Nation election

With only two candidates running for Osage Nation Principal Chief and two for Assistant Principal Chief, there will not be a 2018 primary election, according to election officials.

Those candidates, along with those running for six seats on the ON Congress, Judicial Branch judges up for retention votes and any questions referred for a yes or no votes will be on the ballot for the Nation’s June 4 general election. Election Day voting will take place at the ON Museum and two days of early voting will be held at the ON Election Office in downtown Pawhuska.

The four Osages – all currently elected officials or incumbents – who filed for candidacy in December will all appear on the June 4 ballot for voters’ consideration. Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear is seeking his second term and ON Congresswoman Maria Whitehorn has filed her candidacy for Principal Chief. Assistant Principal Chief Raymond Red Corn is seeking his second term and ON Congressman Otto Hamilton has filed his candidacy for Assistant Principal Chief. Jan. 8 was the final day of the month-long filing period to run for those two offices with no other individuals filing at the ON Election Office.

The next day, the Election Board voted to certify the four candidates running for Executive Branch offices. All four candidates passed background checks conducted by the ON Attorney General’s Office, which notified the Election Office of the results. The Election Office posted the list of the four certified candidates following the unanimous 3-0 Election Board vote to certify on Jan. 9. Election Board members voting that day were Shannon Lockett (chairwoman), Terry Hazen and Belle Wilson.

Per the Nation’s Election Code there is a three-day window for qualified Osage voters to contest the candidacy of the four certified candidates. Any contest of candidacy shall be filed with the Election Office and the deadline to do so is Friday Jan. 12 at the close of business. Should a contest be filed, a public hearing will be held to determine the validity of the contest and the board’s verdict shall be final.

Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre said she plans to send out an election notice to the Osage public advising of no primary election, which would’ve been held April 2. She said there will be a cost savings to the Nation, considering there will be no printing expenses for primary election ballots, but that dollar amount wasn’t immediately available. The next Election Board meeting is scheduled Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. at the Election Office, 608 Kihekah Ave. in Pawhuska.


Benny Polacca

Original Publish Date: 2018-01-11 00:00:00

Benny Polacca

Title: Senior Reporter


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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