Hunt to take over as interim Lumbee chair

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Shambaugh, Jaclyn. "Hunt to take over as interim Lumbee chair." Fayetteville Observer May 18, 2011.


Sharon Hunt will take over on an interim basis for resigning Lumbee Tribal Chairman Purnell Swett. Swett's resignation marks the first time in the tribe's history that a chairman has left office before the end of the three-year term.

The Lumbee Constitution says that the tribal vice chairman is next in line, but it is not specific on how long the Board of Elections has to set up a special election. A special election is required because there is a year and half left in the term for the chairman.

The constitution states the elections board "shall consist of five enrolled members." The current board only has three members - Carol Goins, Sharon Locklear, and Crawley Locklear - because former members Clementine Hunt and Ertle Oxendine have recently finished their six-year terms.

For council positions vacated with more than a year remaining in the term, a special election is supposed to be held to fill the position; but Mitchell said, given the circumstances, that the position would be filled by council appointment if necessary.

Anyone elected to finish out Swett's vacated term will inherit a term of turmoil, marked by a series of disputes between the tribal chairman and the council, with the two sides squaring off twice in the Lumbee Supreme Court.

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