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Six Osage women are the first to file candidacy for Osage Congress so far

Photo Caption: The front of a T-shirt from the Osage Nation Election Office. Courtesy Photo/ON Election Office

In the first two days of the candidate filing period, six Osage women filed for candidacy to run for Osage Nation Congress in the June 4 general election.

The Osage Congressional filing period is open through March 12 for Osages interested in running for six legislative seats that will be open in the election. Eligible candidates are enrolled Osages who are at least 25 years old on election day and who do not have felony convictions, according to the 2006 Osage Constitution.

On Feb. 6, the Congressional filing period opened with Alice Goodfox (incumbent) and Geneva Horsechief-Hamilton waiting outside the ON Election Office in Pawhuska when the door was unlocked at 8 a.m. Goodfox, who is seeking her third Congressional term, arrived at the office first and submitted the required candidacy forms and $300 filing fee and Horsechief-Hamilton followed.

Shortly before 1 p.m., Mary Jo Pratt filed her paperwork making her the third candidate to file. At about 1:20 p.m., Tina R. Allen was the fourth woman to file for candidacy.

Incumbent Angela Pratt, who is the current Congressional Speaker, filed for candidacy seeking a second term that day at about 3:50 p.m. Pratt was the final and fifth candidate to file on the first day.

The second day, Clair Wood filed for candidacy at 1 p.m. and was the only candidate to file on Feb. 7, making her the sixth by the end of the workday.

The six ON Congressional seats each have four-year terms with two regular Congressional sessions each year lasting up to 24 days with the Hun-Kah Session in spring and Tzi-Zho Session in the fall. Special sessions (lasting up to 10 days) may be called at other times throughout the year via written proclamations issued by the Principal Chief or legislative approval by two-thirds of the Congress members.

After the Congressional candidate filing period ends, the ON Election Board will meet to consider certification of the candidates, pending background checks conducted by the ON Attorney General’s Office. The Election Board also meet as needed for regular or special meetings to consider election-related business with the next regular board meeting scheduled Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. in the ON Election Office at 608 Kihekah in Pawhuska.

The ON Election Office website also contains other forms and information on the 2018 election including address update forms, absentee ballot request forms and information on the privacy program regarding voter information listed on the voter registry list. The website is at:


Benny Polacca

Original Publish Date: 2018-02-08 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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