Seven join bid for Tribal Council

By: Staff Report
James Hunt

PEMBROKE — Seven people filed this week for the Lumbee Tribal Council election, the final opportunity to do so.

That brings to 15 the number of candidates running in the election scheduled for Nov. 14.

Filing this week were William Terry Campbell and Valerie Strickland for District 7; Victoria Henderson, District 12; James Hunt, District 3; Sharon Hunt, District 2; Alvin Mercer, District 7; and Pearlean Revels, District 3.

Attempts to contact Campbell in order to obtain information failed.

Henderson is a 36-year-old resident of Wagram in Scotland County. She graduated from Scotland High School and attended The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where she majored in Criminal Justice, and a received a master’s degree in School Administration. She teaches math at Spring Hill Middle School and is the club advisor for the newly formed Native American Student Association.

Henderson has been actively involved in tribal affairs since high school. Recently, she facilitated classes on quilting at the Southeastern Native American Museum at UNCP and for various church groups. She and her husband also have conducted pine-cone patchwork workshops for camps at UNCP.

“Having the opportunity to serve my people in this capacity is an honor, and I expect to make a difference if elected for not only the District 12 residents, but the tribe as a whole,” she said.

Henderson is married to Randy Henderson and they have five children.

James Hunt is a veteran and member of Mt. Airy Baptist Church. He retired from a major corporation in 1994 and has been self-employed for the past 23 years. He attended UNCP and trade schools.

“I feel that in both my professional and personal life I have learned and benefited from experiences that would help me be an effective member on the Tribal Council representing District 3,” Hunt said. “If elected I will represent District 3 in a fair, honest, and respectful manner.”

Hunt has been married to Shelia for 50 years. They have tow children.

Sharon Hunt is the only woman to ever serve as Lumbee Tribal Council chairperson. She is the assistant to the Lumberton city manager and has been employed by the city for 23 years.

She is a 1977 graduate of Fairgrove High School and attended Pembroke State University from 1977 to 1980, where she studied Early Childhood Education and Business Administration. She also attended Robeson Community College and Fayetteville State University and obtained certification in paralegal studies. She has completed Monk’s Real Estate School. She previously worked with Robeson County administration and the Public Schools of Robeson County.

She was elected in 2005 to the Tribal Council as the District 2 representative and served until 2012. She has chaired the Personnel and Federal Recognition committees and served on the Housing and Finance committees. She was elected tribal vice chair in 2011 and went on to become tribal chair.

She was appointed by Sen. Marc Basnight to serve on the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission. She also has served on the Robeson County Humane Society board and currently serves on the Robeson County Church and Community Center board.

She is a member of Reedy Branch Baptist Church in Fairmont.

Mercer, a lifelong resident of Pembroke, was born to the late Alvin and Maggie Mercer. He serves as an owner to many Mercer apartments located in Pembroke. He attends Freedom Baptist Church.

He said that in the near future he wants “to make a stand for our elderly, our veterans, and also the children.”

Revels retired after serving for 30 years as Robeson County’s elections director. She has lived in District 3 for 50 years. She attended Pembroke State University.

“I have always believed that we should help out young people and elders,” said Revels, who has served previously in the Tribal Council. “I will serve my district to the best of my ability to ensure you, the people, that this is your government and I am representing you.”

Revels is married to Ronald Revels, and they have one son.

Valerie Strickland has lived in Union for 29 years. She has associate’s degrees in law enforcement and nursing, and has worked for 24 years as a nurse.

“As a nurse I have witnessed a lot of health problems/issues among our native people, especially the elderly,” she said. “Being part of the Tribal Council would allow a contributing voice for awareness for the need for better health care for our people.

“I would consider it an honor to have a chance to serve the people in District 7 to continue in seeking federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe.”

She is a member of Bakers Chapel Baptist Church, where she works with young people.

The filing period for the Tribal Council election ended Thursday. Other candidates who have filed and are certified to run are: District 2, Lamari Louise; District 5, Jarrod Lowery (unopposed); District 6, Scott Bell and Douglas Locklear; District 11, Frank Cooper and Carl Pevia; and District 12, Shelley Strickland and Michael Chavis II.

James Hunt Hunt

Staff Report