PEMBROKE — At the end of the first week of the candidate filing period, only four people have stepped forward to run for the seven seats up for grabs on the Lumbee Tribal Council. All four had filed to run for a council seat when the election was scheduled for Nov. 15.
It is now set for Nov. 29.
The new filing period is the result of last month’s Lumbee Supreme Court ruling that requires the previous 14 voting districts be used to elect members to the 21-member council rather than the 21 recently created voting districts. The court justices ruled that redistricting is not to be done until after the next national census in 2020.
Filing this week were District 6 incumbent Larry Townsend and challenger Larry Chavis. District 6 includes North Pembroke and Raft Swamp.
Corbin Eddings filed as a candidate in District 8, which is currently represented by Daniel Jones. That district encompasses Burnt Swamp.
The other candidate to file is Distinct 7 incumbent Jan Lowery, who now represents South Pembroke and Union.
Townsend is currently the Southeast Region vice president on the executive board of the National Congress of American Indians. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in Public Policy from North Carolina Wesleyan College and two associate degrees from Kings Business College. He served as a registered lobbyist in the N.C. General Assembly for more than 17 years and more than eight years as a lobbyist in the U.S. Congress.
Townsend served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970, and was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in Vietnam.
Chavis, 48, served two three-year terms on the council before exiting because a person can’t serve more than two consecutive terms. He has worked with Pepsi Bottling Ventures for the past 30 years and is president of the Pembroke Lions Club.
Eddings, the District 8 candidate, is a lifelong resident of Pembroke who served in the U.S. Marines from 1988 to 1993. He owns Corbin Eddings State Farm Insurance Agency.
Lowery works for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke in the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs as a post-award coordinator. She also serves as chair of the Pembroke Planning Board.
A 1976 graduate of UNCP and a 1983 graduate of the University of North Carolina, she serves as the secretary for the Tribal Council and chair of council’s Health Committee.
During her three years on the council, Lowery has written grants focusing on reducing smoking, homicides, motor vehicle accidents, cancer and obesity.
Those wishing to file as candidates can do so from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday or from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. Filing is done at the Lumbee Tribe Elections Board office at 707 Union Chapel Road, Suite D, in Pembroke. The cost is $250.
Other districts where seats are up for grabs, and their current incumbents, include: District 2, Back Swamp, Fairmont and Smyrna, Janie McFarland; District 3, Lumberton and West Howellsville, Al Locklear; District 12, Alfordsville, Maxton and Scotland County, Areatha Patterson; and District 13, Cumberland County, Lumber Bridge, North St. Pauls and Parkton, William Maiden. Maiden can’t seek re-election.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.