Two Lumbee incumbents win re-election

By: Staff Report
Sharon Hunt
Frank Cooper
Alvin Mercer
Michael W. Chavis II

PEMBROKE — Two incumbents won their bids for re-election to the Lumbee Tribal Council on Tuesday, two lost, and it was a day of light voter turnout that ended with a cloud of uncertainty hovering over one race.

Incumbent Douglas Locklear held on to his District 6 seat by defeating challenger Scott Bell by a vote of 95 to 35. And in District 11, incumbent Frank Cooper won out over Carl Pevia with a 50-14 vote tally.

“I feel great about the election,” Locklear said.

The people came out to cast their ballots for the person they want to represent them on the council, he said. And he was glad to see the voters come to the polls.

“No matter who they voted for,” Douglas said.

Of the 28,593 people registered to vote, only 1,207 cast a ballot, just more than 4 percent.

A third incumbent kept his place on the Tribal Council because he faced no opposition. Jarrod Lowery ran unopposed in District 5.

In District 2, Sharon Hunt beat Louise Mitchell 258 votes to 158. Both candidates were former council members running for a seat vacated by Terry Hunt, who was ineligible to run because he had served the maximum two consecutive terms.

James B. Hunt won a tight race for the District 3 seat. He beat former council member Pearlean Revels by a vote count of 64-62. Incumbent Lashaudri Hunt could not seek re-election because he had served to consecutive terms.

Incumbent Bill Brewington also ran into the term limit barrier. The race for the District 7 seat was between William T. Campbell, Alvin Mercer and Valerie Strickland. Mercer won with 143 votes to Strickland’s 95 and Campbell’s 28.

Mercer said Tuesday evening that he intends to represent and be a voice for all the American Indian people.

“I’m going to work for all the Indian people,” Mercer said.

The District 12 vote tally released Tuesday evening by the tribal Board of Elections was 47 for Michael W. Chavis II, 42 for Victoria Henderson and 31 for incumbent Shelley Strickland.

But Chavis was hesitant Tuesday evening to claim the win. Chavis said he was told about 8:40 p.m. by an elections worker that there were 10 provisional ballots in the District 12 race.

‘Technically, I could still lose,” Chavis said.

A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a given voter’s eligibility.

As of late Tuesday evening, he did not know when those votes would be counted, Chavis said.

As for the voter turnout, Chavis said, “That’s sad.”

But he was quick to point out that there were no races in five of the Tribal Council’s 12 districts. And he does not know how many voters were ineligible to cast ballots because of that.

“And I don’t know all the situations surrounding the non-voters,” he said.

Sharon Hunt Hunt

Frank Cooper Cooper

Alvin Mercer Mercer

Michael W. Chavis II W. Chavis II

Jarrod Lowery Lowery

James Hunt Hunt

Staff Report