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Chief-Elect Bill John Baker
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA - Following a three-day counting process, the Cherokee Nation Election Commission has certified the results of the special election for Principal Chief. The official results show Bill John Baker of Tahlequah received nearly 54 percent of the votes and will become the next Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
The official results, including all votes cast, show Baker receiving 10,703 votes to incumbent Chad Smith's 9,128 votes.
The Cherokee Nation, based in Tahlequah, Oklahoma is the second largest tribe in America, after the Navajo Nation.
According to the tribe's election law, a request for a recount must be made by 5 pm next Wednesday, October 19. The window closes at 5:00 pm on October 24, to file an appeal to the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court challenging the validity of the election.
Details for an inaugural ceremony to swear in Chief-Elect Baker have not yet been specified. Baker is a Tahlequah businessman who has served multiple terms as a representative on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council. He holds degrees in Political Science and History in Education with minors in Sociology and Psychology. Baker and his wife Sherry have six children and nine grandchildren.
Baker was re-elected to a six-year term on the Council in 2007 and his successful campaign for Principal Chief means that another special election will be held by the Nation to fill his District 1, Seat 1 office. District 1 represents Cherokee County and the eastern portion of Wagoner County. Timelines for that election will be announced soon by the Cherokee Nation Election Commission.
posted October 13, 2011 6:00 am edt
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