The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians held tribal council elections last Thursday (Sept. 5).
All 12 seats on tribal council were up election, with two seats representing each of the reservation’s six communities. All the sitting council members ran for reelection, but only two-thirds of them held on to their seats.
Come next month, the Eastern Band’s governing body will feature four new faces:
• Bo Crowe from Wolftown.
• Brandon Jones from Cherokee County/Snowbird.
• Albert Rose from Birdtown.
• Teresa McCoy from Big Cove, who has held a tribal council seat in the past.
Those no longer in office are:
• Council chairman Jim Owle from Birdtown
• Mike Parker from Wolftown
• Diamond Brown from Cherokee County/Snowbird
• Bo Taylor from Big Cove, who lost in the primary.
Owle, who only lost by eight votes, took it in stride.
“That is the way it goes sometime. You have to live with it,” Owle said. “It was a good clean race.”
The current chairman said he was unsure if he would run for a seat on Tribal Council in the future, but he does plan to sit back and take it easy for a bit once his term officially ends starting in October.
Fellow ousted council member Diamond Brown was shocked that he was beaten out by just 60 votes.
“I was surprised,” Brown said. “I really was.”
Brown said he thinks a high number of votes cast by enrolled members who live off the reservation partly accounted for his defeat.