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Hammonds-Blanks files appeal with Tribal Election Board

Tribal Councilwoman Anita Hammonds-Blanks is challenging the

outcome of the District 9 race during the November 17 tribal election.

Blanks, who lost by three votes, are protesting that four tribal

members voted out of district. The Election Board will hold a hearing

at 5 pm on Wednesday, December 3.

On Election night, Elaine McNeil Collins received 199 votes and

Blanks had 197 votes. An automatic recount was held because tribal

election law requires it if the vote difference between two candidates

is within a range of 1 percent of the total number of ballots cast.

The recount ended with Collins receiving 200 votes and Blanks, 197.

District 9 includes the Saddletree community.

Any action taken by the Election Board should be announced on

Thursday, December 4, according to Sheila-Beck Jones, chairwoman

of the Tribal Election Board.

Aside from the District 9 race, all of the other council races and the

chairman race were officially certified on November 24, according to


The results of the Tribal Chairman’s race was also certified. Harvey

Godwin Jr. was named the new Tribal Chairman after receiving 41

percent of the total votes cast. Godwin defeated incumbent Paul

Brooks and three other challengers. Chairman Godwin will take office

in January. He will serve a three-year term. A date has not been set

for the swearing-in ceremony.

The official winners of the contested Tribal Council races are

incumbent Bobby Oxendine, District 5; Reginald Oxendine Jr., District

7; Janet Locklear, District 10; and Barbara Lowery, District 14.

Lakisha Spaulding Sweat (District 1) and Incumbent Jonathan

Locklear (District 4) were unopposed.

A date has not been set for the swearing-in ceremony of the new

council members. The terms are for three years.

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