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HomeGovernmentCandidatesWahzhazhe Elections Board certifies six primary election candidates for ballot

Wahzhazhe Elections Board certifies six primary election candidates for ballot


Benny Polacca

From left: Angela Pratt, Geoffrey Standing Bear, Joe Tillman, RJ Walker, Joseph Thornton and Thomas Trumbly. Osage News

Six Osages will be on the April 4 Osage Nation Primary Election ballot with three each running for the Principal Chief and Assistant Principal Chief offices.

The Wahzhazhe Elections Board unanimously certified the six candidates to appear on the ballot for the 2022 primary election. This will be the second primary election for the Nation’s reformed government since the inaugural primary election held in 2014.

Those six individuals will be running in the April 4 primary election to determine which two candidates in each of the two office races with the highest vote counts will appear on the June 6 General Election ballot.

On Jan. 10, the filing period closed for Executive Branch candidates with a sixth individual filing for Assistant Principal Chief candidacy that afternoon.

Thomas Trumbly filed for candidacy as the third individual seeking Assistant Principal Chief’s office that day. This is the second time Trumbly, 56, is seeking Osage public office after running in the 2018 General Election for a Congressional seat.

Also appearing on the ballot are Principal Chief candidates and current Congress members Joe Tillman and Speaker Angela Pratt and incumbent Geoffrey Standing Bear.

Two candidates also running for Assistant Principal Chief are Joseph Thornton and current Congressman RJ Walker.

After the filing period closed, the ON Attorney General’s Office conducted background checks on all six candidates for any felonies before certification by the Election Board.

On Jan. 18, Election Supervisor Alexis Rencountre said the Attorney General’s Office reported “none of the candidates are ineligible” to run for office. The Wahzhazhe Elections Board met by teleconference that day to consider certifying the candidates.

With no objections from the three-member Election Board, Chair Shannon Lockett declared the six Executive Branch candidates certified to appear on the April 4 ballot.

According to the Nation’s election code, there is a three-day contest period where “only qualified voters may file a contest of candidacy. Any contest of candidacy shall be filed with the (Election) Office, and a public hearing shall be held to determine the validity of said candidacy. Any such contest shall be filed within three business days of the posting of the names of all certified candidates, and a hearing on such a contest shall be held within three business days of the contest’s filing. The verdict of the Board shall be final.”

For the 2022 primary election, Rencountre said the deadline for Osage voters to contest a candidacy is Jan. 21. And if a candidacy contest occurs, the board would need to hold a public hearing before Jan. 26.

For more information on Osage Nation elections, filing for Congressional office candidacy, or to register or update addresses for voting, and to request absentee ballots, contact the Election Office toll-free at (877) 560-5286 or visit its website at www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/elections 

Original Publish Date: 2022-01-19 00:00:00


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Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.

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