John Wesley "Wes" Nofire (born April 30, 1986) is a Cherokee Nation and American politician and a former heavyweight professional boxer who has served as the Oklahoma Native American Affairs Liaison since 2023. During his boxing career Nofire fought under the name "The Cherokee Warrior". Nofire served on the Cherokee Nation tribal council between 2019 and 2023. He was a Republican candidate in the 2022 primary election for Oklahoma's 2nd congressional district and candidate in the 2023 Cherokee Nation principal chief election.

Wes Nofire
Oklahoma Native American Affairs Liaison
Assumed office
September 5, 2023
GovernorKevin Stitt
Preceded byChris Benge
Member of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council
from the 3rd district
In office
August 14, 2019 – August 14, 2023
Preceded byDavid Walkingstick
Succeeded byLisa Hall
Personal details
John Wesley Nofire

(1986-04-30) April 30, 1986 (age 38)
Tahlequah, Oklahoma, U.S.
NationalityCherokee Nation
United States
Political partyRepublican
Nickname"The Cherokee Warrior"[1]

Early life


John Wesley Nofire was born on April 30, 1986, at W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, on the Cherokee Nation Reservation to Sherman and Annette Nofire.[2][3]

Nofire grew up in the Welling area, and attended High school at Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah.[3] Sequoyah High School is an all Native American High School operated by the Cherokee Nation and is funded by Bureau of Indian Education.[4] Nofire was on the 2004 State Champion Basketball team for Sequoyah.[5]

Boxing career


Nofire, began boxing in 2007 as a way to stay physically fit. As an amateur, Nofire was named Oklahoma State Champion in the Super Heavyweight Division and went on to participate in the 2010 National Golden Gloves boxing tournament as the Kansas-Oklahoma regional representative.[6][7]

In 2011, Nofire moved to Miami, Florida, where he met John David Jackson, a former two-time world champion. Jackson liked the natural speed and ability that Nofire brought to e encourage him to get in the ring.[8] Nofire made his heavyweight debut on August 26, 2011, at The Joint's Xtreme Fight Night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.[9] Nofire challenged MMA Fighter Marc Webb. Nofire knocked out Webb a uppercut to the chin 1 miniute and 22 seconds into the first round of the match.[10] In his second career match up Nofire would defeat David Fuller in under 41 seconds [11]

Nofire Entertainment


In 2013, Nofire began Nofire Entertainment Corporation, a fight promoting entertainment company.[12][13] Nofire Entertainment's first event was the "Cherokee Fight Club" in 2013, a ten fight event hosted at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.[14]

Retirement from boxing


Nofire's last career fight was against Gerald Washington. Their match was on a Sunday edition of PBC on Fox Sports 1 on June 10, 2018. 32 year old Nofire (20-1, 16 KOs) entered the matching with his only loss came to veteran journeyman Joey Abell in 2016.[15] The fight took place at the Pioneer Event Center in Lancaster, California. The 10-round bout was mostly back and forth. Washington started off fast, landing big shots and applying pressure on Nofire. In round 3, Nofire landed some hard shots on Washington, however he recovered and took over, landing his own big shots. Nofire slowed down after landing his big shots. Washington remained in control for most of the fight. The three judges scored the bout 98–91, 97–92, and 97–92 in favor of Washington, giving him the much needed win and snapping Washington's 2-fight losing streak.[16]

Political career


Cherokee Nation Tribal Council




In December 2018, Nofire announced his intention for run for Cherokee Nation Tribal Council in District 3 seat, being vacated by David Walkingstick, who was running for Principal Chief.[17] The Cheorkee Nation Tribal Council is a seventeen member unicameral legislature of the tribal government.[18] Nofire topped a field of seven candidates in the General Election that occurred on June 1, 2019, advancing himself to the July Runoff.[19] Nofire winning 29.47% of the votes, advanced to face off Cherokee County Democratic Party Chair, Debra Proctor (29.09% of the Vote) in a July 27 run off.

The runoff election was largely seen a proxy fight between the Hoskin/Warner faction and the Walkingstick/Frailey faction from 2019 Cherokee Nation principal chief election. Proctor was largely being supported by the Hoskin/Warner faction and Nofire being supported by the Walkingstick/Frailey faction.[20] Nofire received endorsement from Incumbent David Walkingstick and former Cherokee Nation Principal Chad Smith .[21] On Election Day, Nofire overcame Proctor winning 63.75% of the vote.[22]



During his tenure on the tribal council, Nofire frequently questioned the tribal sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation. He has claimed the Cherokee Nation "never legally established a jurisdictional court over the citizens of the Cherokee Nation,” cast doubt on the Cherokee Nation's criminal jurisdiction during council meetings, and accused principal chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. of using the Cherokee Marshall service for child trafficking. Hoskin described the allegations as "unhinged conspiracy theory.” [23]

2022 congressional campaign


Nofire ran for Oklahoma's 2nd congressional district in 2022.[24] He was one of sixteen candidates for the seat in the Republican primary.[25] During the campaign, Nofire was criticized by fellow Tribal Councilor Candessa Tehee for calling the McGirt v. Oklahoma decision "the biggest threat to Oklahomans” at a Bartlesville campaign stop. She described his statements as "border[ing] on being treasonous and traitorous to Cherokee Nation.”[26] He placed seventh and failed to qualify for the runoff.[27] Nofire endorsed Governor Kevin Stitt in his re-election campaign.[28]

2023 Cherokee Nation principal chief campaign


Nofire announced his intent to run for Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation with Ryan Dirteater on his ticket as deputy chief. Dirteater later announced that he would not be submitting his paperwork to the election board. On February 9 Nofire filed for election with the Cherokee Nation Election Board without Dirteater on his ticket.[29] He lost the election to incumbent principal chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.[30]

Oklahoma Native American Affairs Liaison


On September 5, 2023, Nofire was appointed the Native American Affairs Liaison of Oklahoma by Governor Kevin Stitt.[31] His appointment was criticized by Cherokee Nation officials with Chuck Hoskin Jr. calling it "disappointing" and Speaker of the Tribal Council Mike Shambaugh describing the appointment as "very disturbing."[28] Shambaugh later published an op-ed in the Cherokee Phoenix comparing Nofire to General George Armstrong Custer's Native American scouts and criticizing his appointment because of his "peddl[ing] in fact-free unhinged and ideologically extreme conspiracy theories that pose a danger of political violence" such as the Jewish Indian theory, implying principal chief Hoskins is "the biblical 'beast'" otherwise known as Satan, and accusing the Cherokee Nation of child trafficking.[32][33] The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes unanimously voted to approve a resolution expressing no confidence in Nofire and describing the Native American Affairs Liaison position as ineffective under Governor Stitt.[34]

Electoral history

2019 Cherokee Nation Tribal Council - District 3 General Election Results 6/1/2019
Candidate Early Votes Absentee Votes Election Day Votes Total Votes Total Percentage
RJ Robbins 17 20 76 113 10.74%
Debra Proctor 101 83 122 306 29.09%
Jim Cosby 29 10 64 103 9.79%
Brandon Girty 4 5 8 17 1.62%
Billy Flint 29 29 66 124 11.79%
Larry Dean Pritchett 22 12 45 79 7.51%
Wes Nofire 77 63 170 310 29.47%
Candidate Early Votes Absentee Votes Election Day Votes Total Votes Total Percentage
Wes Nofire 199 99 242 540 63.75%
Debra Proctor 128 85 94 307 36.25%
Republican primary results for Oklahoma's 2nd congressional district in 2022[27]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Avery Frix 11,336 14.7
Republican Josh Brecheen 10,579 13.8
Republican Johnny Teehee 9,963 13.0
Republican John Bennett 8,713 11.3
Republican Guy Barker 8,444 11.0
Republican Marty Quinn 5,612 7.3
Republican Wes Nofire 4,859 6.3
Republican David Derby 4,204 5.5
Republican Chris Schiller 4,108 5.3
Republican Dustin Roberts 3,746 4.9
Republican Pamela Gordon 2,344 3.0
Republican Rhonda Hopkins 1,281 1.7
Republican Clint Johnson 1,128 1.5
Republican Erick Wyatt 615 0.8
Total votes 76,932 100.0
2023 Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Election[30]
Candidate Votes %
Chuck Hoskin Jr. (incumbent) 10,556 62.9%
Cara Cowan Watts 4,008 23.88%
Wes Nofire 1,673 9.97%
David Cornsilk 546 3.25%
Total votes 16,783 100%


  1. ^ Chavez, Will (10 June 2013). "Cherokee Boxer Adds Fight Promoter to Repertoire". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 2022-08-09.
  2. ^ "John Wesley Nofire Boxing Record". Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  3. ^ a b "Nofire seeks District 3 seat on Tribal Council". Tahlequah Daily Press. 8 December 2018. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  4. ^ "Cherokee Nation Education Services". Cherokee Nation Education Services. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  5. ^ Carlson, Jenni. "Pride of the People Thousands are united behind Sequoyah". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  6. ^ "2010 National Golden Gloves Results". Team USA. 5 May 2010. Archived from the original on May 15, 2016.
  7. ^ "Iron Mike Productions Presents Live Boxing – Featuring Wes Nofire (Cherokee Nation)". 16 October 2014. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  8. ^ "Cherokee boxer punching his way up". Cherokee Phoenix. 2 April 2013. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  9. ^ Dreadfulwater, Mark (12 September 2011). "Cherokee citizen wins professional boxing debut". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  10. ^ Dreadfulwater, Mark (12 September 2011). "Cherokee citizen wins professional boxing debut". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  11. ^ Dreadfulwater Digital Media, Mark (28 November 2011). "CN citizen wins 2nd pro boxing bout". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  12. ^ "corpInformation". Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  13. ^ Chavez, Will (10 June 2013). "Cherokee boxer adds fight promoter to repertoire". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  14. ^ BAILEY, ERIC (19 July 2013). "Cherokee boxer Wes Nofire aims to remain undefeated at Hard Rock event". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  15. ^ Random Hits (31 May 2018). "Kauffman-Alexander Tops PBC Tripleheader, No Antonio Tarver". Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  16. ^ Staff, BoxingScene (10 June 2018). "Gerald Washington Decisions Wes Nofire: Spencer, Hunter Win". Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  17. ^ "Nofire seeks District 3 seat on Tribal Council". Tahlequah Daily Press. 8 December 2018. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  18. ^ "Legislative Branch". Cherokee Nation Website. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  19. ^ "Cumulative Report - Official - Cherokee Nation - General Election" (PDF). 2019-06-01. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2022-07-31. Retrieved 2023-10-29.
  20. ^ Rowley, D. Sean (2 June 2019). "Updated: Nofire, Proctor headed for Dist. 3 runoff". Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  21. ^ Tahlequah, Chad Smith. "Letter to the Editor: Former Cherokee Nation principal chief provides his endorsements". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  22. ^ "2019 Runoff Election Results" (PDF). Cherokee Nation Election Commission. Retrieved 2022-04-24.
  23. ^ Rowley, D. Sean (September 6, 2023). "Nofire appointed Native American liaison by Stitt". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  24. ^ "Tribal councilor, Tahlequah native Nofire to make D2 bid for Congress". Tahlequah Daily Press. 25 April 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  25. ^ Gore, Hogan (22 April 2022). "16 candidates comprise the field in dash for eastern Oklahoma congressional seat". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  26. ^ Hunter, Chad (31 May 2022). "Nofire's McGirt statements called 'clearly treasonous'". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  27. ^ a b "June 28 2022". Oklahoma State Election Board. Retrieved 29 June 2022.
  28. ^ a b Rowley, D. Sean (September 6, 2023). "Nofire appointed Native American liaison by Stitt". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  29. ^ Serrano, Sara (2023-02-09). "Cherokee Nation filing period closes with 41 candidates running". Tahlequah Daily Press. Retrieved 2023-02-10.
  30. ^ a b Hunter, Chad (June 4, 2023). "Unofficial vote points to landslide Hoskin re-election". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  31. ^ Young, Molly (September 5, 2023). "Oklahoma governor taps new Native affairs liaison as criticism from tribal leaders grows". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  32. ^ Mike, Shambaugh (September 8, 2023). "OPINION: Custer had his scouts. Governor Stitt has Wes Nofire". Cherokee Phoenix. Retrieved 9 September 2023.
  33. ^ Krehbiel, Randy (September 8, 2023). "Political notebook: State tax revenue continues lower". Tulsa World. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  34. ^ Young, Molly (September 21, 2023). "Five Tribes vote no confidence in Governor Stitt's new liaison for Native affairs". The Oklahoman. Retrieved 22 September 2023.