PEMBROKE — Six people filed this week as candidates for the Lumbee Tribal Council before the filing period ended on Friday.
The election will be held on Nov. 13.
Bobby Dean Oxendine, a long-time resident of the Prospect and Oxendine communities, has filed as a candidate for the District 5 seat currently held by Kernice Locklear.
Oxendine retired after more than 40 years as a teacher and school administrator for the Public Schools of Robeson County. While serving the public schools, he was very active in the county teachers’ organization, where he served as president, a member of the state board of directors, and held a chairmanship at the national level. He was was also instrumental in establishing the Wakulla Jaycees in the Oxendine community.
Oxendine received several awards during his years of service in the community: Outstanding Young Educator, the Long Leaf Pine, and Teacher of the Year for Pembroke Elementary School. He is a member of the Cherokee Chapel Holiness Methodist Church in the Oxendine community.
As a council member, Oxendine said his focus would be on the veterans, housing needs, improving opportunities for education, and senior citizens programs.
“I would continue to work for full cooperation between all entities of our Lumbee people,” he said in a statement. “I will fulfill my duties and responsibilities with the same vigor as I gave to the county school system.”
In District 9, the Saddletree community, Richard Terry Locklear filed as a candidate for the seat currently held by James Taft Smith.
Locklear, a native of Lumberton, was raised in New Jersey, but said every summer he would travel back to Saddletree to help his extended family work the farm cropping tobacco. In 1990, he married and returned for good to the Saddletree community.
Locklear, a former Whiteville police officer, has also worked as a Humvee mechanic at Fort Bragg.
“For too long, the urgent needs and real problems of those of us who struggle to make ends meet go unanswered,” he said in a statement. “So instead of continuing to write and voice my opinion about it (in the newspaper), I decided it was time to run and make a concerted and heartfelt effort to try and change things for the better.
“Honestly, there is only one thing that I can promise (if elected) and that is to listen to each and every one of you, and to bring your issues and complaints to the Tribal Council. No issue will be too small to be overlooked.”
Four of the candidates filing this week, Remondie Hunt in District 1, Evan Davenport in District 1, Cody Eagle Horse Godwin in District 7, and incumbent Homer Fields in District 14 did not supply The Robesonian with biographical information or a photo.
This year, council seats up for for election on the 21-member council are District 1, Gaddy, Rowland, Orrum, Sterlings, Whitehouse and Thompson, currently held by Audrey Hunt; District 4, Red Springs and Philadelphus, currently held by Helen Locklear; District 5, Oxendine and Prospect, currently held by Kernice Locklear; District 7, South Pembroke and Union, currently held by Robert Chavis; District 9, Saddletree, currently held by James Taft Smith; District 10, Shannon, Rennert and South St. Pauls, currently held by Terry Collins; and District 14, East Howellsville, Wisharts and Britts, currently held by Homer Fields.
Because the Lumbee Tribe’s constitution limits anyone from serving more than two consecutive three-year terms on the council, incumbents Audrey Hunt, Helen Locklear, Kernice Locklear and James Taft Smith are ineligible to seek re- election.
There are contested races in six of the seven district seats on the council up for election.
In District 1, Billy “Dollar Bill” Oxendine is running against Remondie Hunt, a retired Public Schools of Robeson County teacher, and Evan Davenport.
In District 4, Retha Kenworthy and Jonathan Locklear are the candidates.
In District 5, the candidates are Millicent Strickland Collins, Ruby Locklear and Bobby Oxendine.
Collins has 20 years of local government experience and is currently the grants administrator for Robeson County.
The race in district 7 is between incumbent Robert Chavis and Cody Eagle Horse Godwin.
In District 9, the candidates, in addition to Richard Terry Locklear, are Anita Hammonds Blanks and Dewey McNeill.
In District 14, incumbent Homer Fields is facing a challenge from Jimmy Hunt. Hunt is a former Lumbee Tribal Council member.
Only one candidate, Terry Collins in District 10, is running unopposed.
In addition to the district races, three candidates are running for the office of tribal chairman. Paul Brooks currently holds that position. Brooks is being challenged by Jimmy Goins, a former tribal chairman, and Lynn C. Jacobs, who ran unsuccessfully against Brooks in 2011.
Reach staff writer Bob Shiles at 910-272-6117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.