Lumbee Tribe: Date for special election uncertain

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Shiles, Bob. "Lumbee Tribe: Date for special election uncertain." Robesonian [Lumberton, NC] May 18, 2011. 


There is some disagreement about when the special election that will replace resigning Chairman Purnell Swett will be held. Steve Sampson, the Tribal Council Speaker, said that he wants to see the election for a new chairman held at the same time as the general election in November.

“It doesn’t make sense to have an election now and then have to have another election a couple of months later,” Steve Sampson said. “It’s just not practical to spend $20,000 for a district-wide election twice in such a short time.”

Sharon Hunt, the tribe's vice chairman, will take over leadership of the Tribal Council until a special election can be held. The tribal constitution states that the tribal vice chairman is to take over the chairman's responsibilities if a vacancy occurs.

The constitution does not specify a time when the Elections Board must set a date for the special election, and the the five-member Elections Board is down to only three members because Chairman Ertle Oxendine and Clementine Hunt recently finished their six-year terms.

Oxendine said the Elections Board will be back to full strength Thursday when the Tribal Council appoints two new members. The full board will then begin the process of setting an election date, he said.

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