Politics | Federal Recognition

Tribes in North Carolina back Democrat Sen. Hagan in tight race

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina) with a supporter. Photo from Facebook

Several tribes in North Carolina are backing Sen. Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina) in her re-election campaign.

The Coharie Tribe, the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe, the Lumbee Tribe, the Waccamaw Siouan Tribes and the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation met earlier this month to discuss shared issues. One was an endorsement of Hagan, who's locked in a tight race against House Speaker Thom Tillis (R).

“It was important to bring all the leaders to the table to have an open discussion about various issues, because we have a lot of common concerns," Lumbee Chairman Paull Brooks told Indian Country Today. “The meeting was informative and one that was needed to address the current political climate. We all want to work together, as one, to get our people back to work and boost the state’s economy.”

Native Americans make up just 1.6 percent of the state population. But with the race nearly tied, according to Real Clear Politics, their vote could tip the race.

“We’re working hard day and night to get out the vote,” Brooks told ICT.

The tribes are hosting a rally with Hagan tomorrow in Lumbee territory, ICT reported. She has been pushing a bill to extend federal recognition to the Lumbees.

Thom Tillis, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in North Carolina. Photo from Facebook

Tillis also supports the Lumbees. He's been endorsed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, whose leaders oppose Lumbee recognition.

Get the Story:
NC’s Newest Voting Bloc: State Tribes Support Hagan (Indian Country Today 10/30)

Related Stories:
Republican blames Sen. Reid for holding Lumbee recognition bill (08/15)
Senate candidates support federal recognition for Lumbee Tribe (06/25)

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