2023 Cherokee Nation principal chief election

The 2023 Cherokee Nation principal chief election was held on June 3, 2023, concurrently with the 2023 Cherokee Nation tribal council elections and 2023 Cherokee Nation deputy chief election, to elect the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Incumbent principal chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. ran for re-election to a second term in office with incumbent deputy chief Bryan Warner as his running mate and was re-elected to a second term.[a]

2023 Cherokee Nation principal chief election

← 2019 June 3, 2023 2027 →
Candidate Chuck Hoskin Jr. Cara Cowan Watts Wes Nofire
Popular vote 10,756 4,095 1,720
Percentage 62.76% 23.89% 10.04%

Principal Chief before election

Chuck Hoskin Jr.

Elected Principal Chief

Chuck Hoskin Jr.

Candidates edit

Declared edit

Campaign edit

Chuck Hoskin Jr. pledged that if re-elected, he would continue his work preserving the Cherokee language, building more hospitals, providing job training for Cherokee citizens, and addressing the opioid crisis. Cara Cowan Watts touted her status as the only woman in the race; if elected, she would be the Cherokee Nation's first female principal chief since 2011. She promised to address the healthcare worker shortage while also improving education and housing. Wes Nofire said his top priority would be to reduce wasteful spending by the Cherokee government. David Cornsilk pledged to reform the tribal court system and increase access to healthcare and housing.[4]

Hoskin's challengers accused him of mismanaging COVID relief funds, giving unnecessary pay raises to elected officials, not doing enough to preserve Cherokee culture, and failing to ensure adequate staffing at healthcare facilities. He defended his record on these issues, though he also acknowledged the staffing issue and proposed expanding telehealth.[5]

Legal issues edit

Cara Cowan Watts and David Walkingstick's campaigns were barred by the Cherokee Nation district court from operating a "registration checker" on their campaign website that allowed users to look up Cherokee voters' names and addresses by an injunction after the court ruled its operation violated the Cherokee Nation Election Law and Privacy Act. Walkingstick's attorney, former Cherokee Nation principal chief Chad Smith, described the ruling as a "political stunt."[6]

Results edit

The election was held on June 3, 2023.[2]

2023 Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Election[7]
Candidate Votes %
Chuck Hoskin Jr. (incumbent) 10,756 62.76%
Cara Cowan Watts 4,095 23.89%
Wes Nofire 1,720 10.04%
David Cornsilk 568 3.31%
Total votes 17,139 100%

Notes edit

  1. ^ Principal chief and deputy chief are elected separately, but some candidates campaign together as running mates.[1]

References edit

  1. ^ Crumbacher, Katrina (May 31, 2023). "Three challenge Hoskin Jr. in race for Cherokee Nation principal chief". NonDoc. Retrieved June 3, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e Serrano, Sara (January 25, 2023). "Cherokee Nation candidates lining up to file". Tahlequah Daily Press. Retrieved March 4, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Hoskin, Warner kick off re-election campaign". Tahlequah Daily Press. December 15, 2022. Retrieved March 4, 2023.
  4. ^ Deggs, Kaitlyn (February 14, 2023). "Four Candidates Face Off for Principla Chief in Cherokee Nation Elections". KOTV-DT. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  5. ^ Herrera, Allison (April 28, 2023). "Cherokee Nation Principal, Deputy Chief candidates debate issues in Tahlequah". KOSU. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  6. ^ Hunter, Chad (May 11, 2023). "Court orders halt to release of Cherokee voter info". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  7. ^ Hunter, Chad (June 5, 2023). "Cherokee Nation election panel OKs vote count". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved June 7, 2023.

External links edit

Official campaign websites