Lumbee elections funding in doubt
by Bob Shiles Staff writer
PEMBROKE — The ballots are set for the Lumbee Tribal election in November, if there is money for them to be published.
While the candidates are ready to start campaigning, there is now a question of whether the $26,000 needed to fund the election can be found.
Elections cannot be funded by federal money allotted the tribe under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act. They must be funded with unrestricted funds, which Tribal Chairman Paul Brooks said are not available.
Carvicous Barfield, chairman of the tribe’s Elections Board, said the Tribal Council did put unrestricted funds in this year’s fiscal budget to fund the election.
“The council approved $26,000 for an election and put it as a line item in the budget,” Barfield said. ‘That money is there.”
Brooks, however, said in a statement that there are no unrestricted funds for any purpose included in the tribe’s current budget. Barfield has said that if the money is not provided by Sept. 23, there will be no election.
If the election is not held, the incumbents will continue to hold their seats on the council, according to Barfield.
Tony Hunt, the tribal administrator, said that the administration is looking for money or other resources. Other resources, he said, could include “volunteers” paying for the election.
In a statement late last week, Brooks suggested that some of the money needed for the election could be raised if the members of the council would give up their monthly stipends. He said that he would do the same.
Brooks also said that the $250 filing fee paid by the candidates would go a long way in helping pay for election expenses.
The filing for candidates wishing to be on the ballot on Nov. 12 ended Friday. A total of 18 candidates filed for the seven district seats up for election.
The most candidates, four, are for the District 3 seat currently held by the council’s speaker Pearlean Revels, and the District 6 seat currently held by Larry Chavis. Revels is one of four incumbents seeking re-election. Chavis cannot seek another term because the Lumbee Constitution does not permit anyone from holding a council seat for more than two consecutive three-year terms.
Other incumbents seeking re-election are Larry Campbell in District 7, Danita Locklear in District 12, and William Maiden in District 13. In District 8, Daniel James Jones, a newcomer, has no opposition.
The following is a list of the district seats up for election in November and those individuals who have filed as candidates for each seat.
District 2 Back Swamp, Fairmont, Smyrna): Barbara Hunt, Frances Chavis, Janie Oxendine McFarland.
District 3 (Lumberton): Pearlean Revels, Alton Locklear Jr., Rene Kerns, Erik Oxendine.
District 6 (North Pembroke, Raft Swamp): Larry Townsend, Scott Bell, Michael Chavis, Shelia Godwin.
District 7 (South Pembroke, Union): Larry Campbell, Jan Lowery.
District 8 (Burnt Swamp): Daniel James Jones.
District 12 (Maxton, Alfordsville, Scotland County): Danita Locklear, Areatha Patterson.
District 13 (Cumberland County, Parkton, Lumber Bridge, North St. Pauls): William Maiden, Johnny Chavis.
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