All 13 Osage Nation Congressional candidates will appear on the June 6 General Election ballot after the Wahzhazhe Elections Board deemed the candidate list certified.
At the board’s March 15 meeting, Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre said she received background check results from the Nation’s Attorney General’s Office on the candidates. The 2006 Osage Constitution states enrolled Osages who are at least 25 years old on Election Day and who have never been convicted of a felony are eligible to serve as Congress members.
That morning, Rencountre informed the board of the AG’s office results: “According to their criminal background review, none of the listed potential candidates are ineligible according to the disqualification requirements – so everybody passed their background checks, so they can be certified.”
Afterward, Anita Fields, who is an acting board member, motioned for the 2022 Congressional candidates to be certified. Board Vice Chair Terry Hazen and Chair Shannon Lockett also agreed for the candidate list certification.
The candidate certification list has the 13 individuals’ names as follows in the order of candidacy filing: Eli Potts, Alice Goodfox, Paula Stabler, Otto Hamilton, Scott BigHorse, Whitney Red Corn, Liberty Metcalf, Brandy Lemon, Berbon Hamilton, Jacque Jones, Ericca Unap-Dennis, Amanda Proctor and Drew Tiger.
Osage voters will choose which Congressional candidates they want to occupy six open legislative seats in the General Election. Also, there will be two candidates each running for the Principal Chief and Assistant Principal Chief offices listed on the General Election Ballot.
On June 6, the Osage Minerals Council election will also take place with only Osage shareholders voting in that respective election with 15 candidates running for all eight open OMC seats.
Rencountre said there will be Election Day candidate campsites at the government campus park open to both General Election candidates and OMC candidates and her office will facilitate a drawing for campsite selections. The campsites are part of a longstanding Osage election tradition for candidates setting up the one-day camps to greet and offer food and refreshments to voters, friends and families coming to Pawhuska to mark their ballots.
“The Minerals Council (candidates), Chief, Assistant Chief and Congress (written names) will all be put into the hopper at the same time to draw for campsites,” Rencountre said. “The election supervisor for the Minerals Council (Billie Ponca) has already contacted us. I told her where she could find our forms so she can create one for the Minerals Council candidates and give it to them, so I’m going to follow-up with her and make sure that’s taken care of.”
Rencountre said the campsite drawing will take place Thursday, April 14 at the government campus park.
Also on that same day, the Election Office will host a candidate workshop for the General Election candidates to discuss upcoming candidate information, including campaign reporting statements. Per the election rules and regulations, the Election Board is authorized to set rules on candidate reporting statements, which are required to be submitted twice detailing campaign-related donations and expenses before and after Election Day.
During the April 14 candidate workshop, the Election Office will conduct a ballot placement drawing to determine the order in which the Congressional and Executive Branch candidate names will appear on the ballot. Later that day, the Election Board will hold a special meeting to approve the General Election ballot, Rencountre said.
The OMC election office is located at 813 Grandview Ave., in the OMC chambers. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information on the Minerals Council election, call (918) 287-0010.
For more information on the ON General Election and questions on absentee ballots, visit the Wahzhazhe Elections Office website at: https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/elections or call toll-free (877) 560-5286.