“I’ve been asked by so many people to step up in the event this was going to be a vote in the people’s favor,” McCoy said outside the council house following the July 27 meeting.
McCoy has represented Big Cove for 20 years but decided not to file for re-election in March — she said she was ready to have more time to travel and be with her grandchildren. However, with the vice chief’s seat now open she plans to run for office one more time.
If elected, she said, one of her top priorities would be ensuring that any more proposed debt is aimed at investing in the Cherokee people rather than in creating more tourism magnets.
“When Tribal Councils start considering and spending more time talking about how to make money for their tribe rather than to alleviate the lack of housing or healthcare issues, then Councils have lost focus on what their jobs are and who they represent,” McCoy said.
This will be the fourth time McCoy has run for vice chief, though she hasn’t won the office before. She said that regardless of whether she wins, she plans to stay involved in tribal politics.
“What I’ve discovered by watching all these brave women in the audience month after month is that you do not have to be elected to lead,” she said. “Anybody can lead.”