PEMBROKE — The present tribal chairman, a former chairman and a former candidate for tribal chairman all have filed to run for the Lumbee Tribe’s top elected official. Also this week, eight candidates filed to run for seats on the 21-member Lumbee Tribal Council.
The candidate filing period began Monday and continues through Sept. 14. The election will be held on Nov. 13.
Paul Brooks, the current chairman, was elected in November 2011 in a special election to fill the remaining one-year term of former Chairman Purnell Swett. Brooks, a Pembroke native, has more than 40 years of experience in education, business and public service.
In a lengthy statement, Brooks said that his administration has dealt with organizational issues that have impeded government operations by improving tribal efficiencies and capacity to serve tribal members.
“My administration will continue to be busy in making a difference,” he said. “Goals will include economic development initiatives to employ people of Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson and Scotland counties in industries appropriate and familiar to our tribal members. There are economic opportunities that await, and now is the time to educate our people so they are ready to be employed, be proactive in attracting employers to the area, and creating an economically self-sufficient tribe.”
Brooks said that his administration has actively been involved in efforts to obtain full federal recognition and to address issues around the North Carolina Indian Cultural Center.
Brooks is currently chairman of the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs, and serves on the board of the state’s Golden LEAF Foundation. He also is a former member of the Lumbee Regional Development Association and a former member of the Public Schools of Robeson County Board of Education.
Brooks has worked in health care and has experience as a real estate developer and a licensed general contract. He is a parishioner of the Pembroke Gospel chapel.
Also filing was Jimmy Goins, who held the office of chairman from 2004 to 2010. He could not seek another term because the tribe’s constitution does not allow someone to serve as chairman or a council member more than two consecutive three-year terms.
Goins has served a a member of the Tribal Council and was instrumental in drafting and finalizing the tribe’s constitution. In a statement, Goins said that under his leadership the tribe’s assets grew from $2 million to more than $50 million. Those assets have helped to expand and establish programs to assist veterans, youth and elders, as well as offer vocational rehabilitation assistance, he said.
Goins said he led tribal efforts to move the Lumbee Recognition Bill through both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
“As your tribal chairman, I will do no less than I did as your tribal chairman from 2004 to 2010. In my forward looking, I see my people not only being the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River but also being the largest self-sufficient tribe east of the Mississippi,” he said. “Therefore, I will work for my Lumbee people to become self-sufficient by bringing in programs that will assist their economic, education and social issues. I strive for you my Lumbee people to be the advantage Lumbee, not the disadvantaged Lumbee.”
Goins graduated from Prospect High School and then received degrees in Chemistry and Business Administration from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. During the Vietnam War he served in the U.S. Army Airborne, receiving both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star..
Goins was a member of the Lumbee Self-Determination Commission from 1998 to 2000, and then served on the Tribal Council from 2000 to 2003. He is currently a member of Lumbee Warriors Association , the local VFW, and attends Union Chapel Methodist Church.
Goins owns and operated North Carolina Insurance Services in Red Springs.
Lynn Bruce Jacobs is running a second time for tribal chairman. He was defeated by Brooks in 2011.
Jacobs is currently senior pastor at Crying Spirit Ministries in Fairmont and is former owner of Siouan Transportation. He’s also served as an outreach coordinator for Palmer Prevention Inc., a school director-manager for Trans Tech Inc., an
office manager/assistant system administrator for Nash Finch Inc., and a project training officer in the U.S. Army. He holds a doctoral degree in divinity, a masters degree in religion, and other various degrees in business.
He said he was an honor student at Robeson Community College and received numerous military awards and decorations.
Robert Earl Chavis is seeking re-election in District 7, which includes Pembroke and Union. Chavis is employed with Healthkeeperz. He’s a member of Mission Church in Pembroke, where he has served as a church trustee for 15 years.
“I’m seeking re-election in order to continue with the Housing Committee,” he said. “Much has been done, but there are still tribal members needing rehabilitation or the acquisition of a home … . I have received a great deal of satisfaction from those who I have had the opportunity to help with housing needs.”
Chavis said he is a “staunch advocate” for the elders, veterans and youth.
“It is my desire to continue to serve my constituents with the same fairness and equality that I have served with since my election to this council,” he said.
In District 10, which encompasses Shannon, Rennert and South St. Pauls, incumbent Terry Collins filed for re-election.
Collins, 53, is a Shannon resident and native of Robeson County. He has worked as a self-employed contractor for 36 years.
“I will continue to work for the people in District 10 and in surrounding districts. My focus is (house) rehabs and mobile home replacements,” he said. “I am confident that I can still make a difference for the people in District 10.”
Collins is a graduate of Red Springs High School. He attends God’s Holy Assembly Church in Shannon.
During the past week, six other candidates filed for seats on the Tribal Council. They did not supply The Robesonian with any biographical information or a photo.
Those filing include:
— District 1 (Gaddy, Rowland, Orrum, Sterlings, Whitehouse and Thompson): Billy “Dollar Bill” Oxendine.
— District 4 (Red Springs and Philadelphus): Retha Kenworthy and Jonathan Locklear.
— District 5 (Oxendine andProspect): Millicent Collins.
— District 9 (Saddletree): Dewey McNeill and Anita Blanks.
Reach staff writer Bob Shiles at 910-272-6117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.