PEMBROKE — The filing period for anyone wishing to run for Lumbee tribal chairperson or one of seven seats on the 21-member Lumbee Tribal Council opens Monday and continues until Sept. 9, which is a Friday.
The special election for tribal chairperson is being held to elect the individual who will complete the remaining one year of former Chairman Purnell Swett’s term. Since Swett’s resignation in May, the position of the tribe’s highest elected official has been filled by Chairwoman Sharon Hunt. Hunt was elevated to the position as a result of her position as the tribe’s vice chair. According to tribal law, if the chairman relinquishes his office before the end of his term, his duties are assumed by the vice chair until a special election can be held to elect a permanent chairperson.
Hunt also holds the District 2 seat, which includes Back Swamp, Fairmont and Smyrna and is up for election. The tribe’s Supreme Court ruled last week she could not hold the chairperson’s seat and the District 2 seat, but as of Friday afternoon she had not resigned either.
Other seats up for election are District 3, Lumberton, currently held by Pam Hunt; District 5, Oxendine and Prospect, currently held by Charles Bullard; District 6, Raft Swamp and North Pembroke, currently held by James Deese; District 7, South Pembroke and Union, currently held by Terry Campbell; District 11, Hoke County, currently held by Linda Revels; and District 12, Scotland County, Maxton and Alfordsville, currently held by Shelley Strickland.
Candidates can file at the Lumbee Tribal Housing Complex on N.C. 711 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The filing fee for tribal chairperson is $300, while the fee for those wishing to win a seat on the council is $150.
Individuals running for chairperson must be enrolled tribal members of at least 35 years of age; have maintained their residency in the tribal territory for the past year; and must not have a felony record.
Candidates for the three-year council terms must be enrolled members of the tribe of at least 21 years of age; maintained their principal residence in their tribal district for no less than one year; and not have a felony record.
— Staff writer Bob Shiles can be reached at (910) 272-6117 or email@example.com.