Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
Bailey Seeking Support
DORR, MICHIGAN - Congressional Candidate Derek Bailey, chairman of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, is making his rounds seeking support from other Michigan Indian Tribes.
On Thursday he took vacation time, so as not to interfere with his duties with his Tribe, to come downstate to seek support from the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, commonly known as the Gun Lake Tribe, based in Dorr, Michigan.
Bailey announced on October 1 he is seeking the Democratic nomination for Michigan's First Congressional District. "I am running as a Democrat. I believe, and others believe, this seat will be one of 25 Congressional seats closely watched nationwide," said Bailey.
Late Thursday afternoon he explained to the Gun Lake Tribal Council how he sought permission and advice from various people close to him, including his wife, his aunts and uncles, and tribal elders to run for Congress.
"I told my aunts and uncles they have had our name longer than I have; and I wanted to make sure they were okay with me running," stated Bailey to the Tribal Council. "Every one of them told me to 'go for it!'"
Chairman Sprague Greets Bailey
"I am glad to hear you handled it the way you did," commented DK Sprague, tribal chairman of the Gun Lake Tribe told Bailey. "I like the apparent steps you have taken."
"You have gained great success where you are (referring to his leadership of his Tribe)," said Lorraine "Punkin" Shananaquet, tribal council member. "We need strong leaders in DC."
"Wouldn't it be nice to have a Congressman in Washington who not only knows about sovereignty issues, but has fought for sovereignty rights in the past?" posed Bailey to the Tribal Council.
Sprague commented that the Tribe would support Bailey in any way they could. Phyllis Davis, tribal council member, disclosed she is part of Bailey's campaign committee.
Michigan's First Congressional District is home to eight of the twelve federally recognized American Indian tribes in the state. The Gun Lake Tribe is not one of them.
For each election cycle - the primary and general election, an American Indian tribe can donate up to $2,500 to an individual Congressional candidate's campaign fund, which means they can donate in both the primary and general election cycles for a total of $5,000.
Bailey faces opposition from Gary McDowell, who announced last month he is a candidate in the Democratic Party primary. The primary election will be held next August 7, 2012. The winner will emerge to face the one-term incumbent Dan Benishek.
"Fundraising is part of every campaign, and with that our committee is focused on reaching out to every community and citizen we can. We definitely appreciate the support and financial contributions from within the Native American communities," said Bailey of his reason for seeking support from the Michigan-based tribes.
Other tribes and anyone interested in providing support to Bailey's bid for Congress may do so at:
updated 1:12 pm edt; posted October 14, 2011 8:30 am edt
Thank you for visiting. We are loading the new Native News Network website. Visitors always come first, so if you click on a link only to find the corresponding page is unavailable, please use this link to contact us here ».
Then, tell us how we can help you.
I will contact you personally.