Cherokee Nation headed to polls on Saturday to choose chief

Members of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma head to the polls on Saturday to vote for principal chief.

Incumbent Chad Smith is seeking a fourth term. He is facing a tough challenge from Bill John Baker, a council member.

“I think it's unfortunate, but politics is hard,” tribal member Keith Austin told The Oklahoman. “I don't hold it against the candidates for fighting as hard as they need to to win, as long as there's truth in their allegations.”

Smith has a well-funded campaign and has run numerous television, radio and print ads. Baker hasn't run as many ads and isn't on television but says he is going further into Cherokee territory than his opponent.

Also on Saturday's ballot are four candidates for deputy chief and candidates for eight council seats.

Get the Story:
Longtime Cherokee leaders wage bitter campaign (AP 6/20)
Cherokee Nation election ballot includes 10 offices, 3 referenda (The Tulsa World 6/21)

An Opinion:
Gina Sourjohn: A vote for Smith is a vote to move forward (The Muskogee Phoenix 6/20)

Related Stories:
Pat Ragsdale: Chad Smith is right choice for Cherokee chief (6/15)
Cherokee Nation releases plane logs but costs not reported (6/15)
Candidates for chief of Cherokee Nation debate the issues (6/7)
Opinion: Re-elect Chad Smith as leader of Cherokee Nation (6/1)
Cherokee Nation urges members to vote in tribal election (4/25)
Cherokee Nation chief criticized for ads touting achievements (3/24)
Cherokee Nation set for election for principal chief, deputy chief (3/15)

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