PEMROKE — Lumbee Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. filed Wednesday for re-election.
Godwin will be seeking his second three-year term in the Nov. 13 election. He is the second person to file as a candidate for the Lumbee Tribe leadership role. Raymond Cummings, chairman of the Robeson County Board of Commissioners, filed on Monday.
Godwin, 64, is the owner of Two Hawk Employment Services in Lumberton. He has been a member of the Lumberton Rotary Club for 18 years and served as president for two years. He serves on the committee for the Julian T. Pearce Memorial Scholarship Initiative.
The sitting tribal chairman and his wife, Shelia, live in the Moss Neck community and are members of Bear Swamp Baptist Church in Pembroke. They have two sons, Cody Eaglehorse Godwin and Quinn West Godwin, and a granddaughter, Journey Alyssa Godwin.
“I want the opportunity to continue fight for the Lumbee Tribe and to serve the needs of our great people,” Godwin said in a statement given to The Robesonian.
Godwin said he has used his relationships and experience gained through 25 years of work nationally to help move the Lumbee Tribe forward during his first term as chairman. Godwin said under his leadership, the Lumbee Tribe has established a great rapport with HUD and many other public and private organizations. The tribe paid off the Tribal Housing Complex last year, and over the course of two years settled non-compliance complaints from an audit of a previous administration’s tribal budget.
There has been an expansion of economic opportunity and job creation under his tenure through the establishment of a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program, Project Access, revitalization of the Lumbee Tribe Cultural Center, formation of grant partnerships, and rebuilding of homes, Godwin said.
His goals include securing grants to fight opioid in addition to the $150,000 already received, housing development in West Lumberton, and rebuilding the amphitheater at the cultural center. He also plans to increase services in Cumberland County and ensure that services are provided equally throughout tribal territory.
Also on Wednesday, Reginald Oxendine filed for re-election to the District 7 seat.
According to information given to The Robesonian, Oxendine and his wife, Lisa, live in Pembroke, and have three children, Jessica, 26, Adrianna, 21, and Reginald Zachary, 15.
Oxendine is an English teacher with the Public Schools of Robeson County. In his former position at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, he served as an instructor and technology coordinator for the School of Education. He has 23 years of service in the field of education. Oxendine also is pastor of Snead’s Grove United Methodist Church in Laurel Hill and serves on the Pembroke’s Planning Board.
“I currently represent District 7, including South Pembroke and Union communities, on the Lumbee Tribal Council,” Oxendine wrote in a statement. “As the chairperson of the Constitution and Ordinance Committee, I am working to improve the ‘Lumbee way of life’ through our legislative actions. One area of particular interest is improving our tribal enrollment process and to improve housing services for all Indians.”
Ted Woodell filed as a candidate for the District 4 seat on the Tribal Council. The current District 4 representative is Jonathan Locklear, who is not eligible for re-election because he in his second term. Woodell did not provide The Robesonian with a statement or biographical information.
The filing period for the November elections continues until Sept. 7.
Filing can be done from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each week day at the Elections Office, which is located at 707 Union Chapel Road. The cost to file for chairman is $500, and $250 for a Tribal Council seat.
For information, call the Elections Office at 910-374-6290.