The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians held its primary elections for Tribal Council yesterday, September 5, 2013.  Here are the unofficial winners in each community, as reported by the Cherokee One Feather newspaper and the Tribe’s Board of Elections.  Each community has two council members and they serve two-year terms.  Several incumbents lost their seats, but representation in the majority of communities stays the same. 

Big Cove Tribal Council

Teresa McCoy and Perry Shell

Yellowhill Tribal Council

David Wolfe and Alan “B” Ensley

Birdtown Tribal Council

Gene “Tunney” Crowe Jr. and Albert Rose

Painttown Tribal Council

Tommye Saunooke and Terri Henry

Wolftown Tribal Council

Bo Crowe and Dennis Edward (Bill) Taylor

Cherokee Co./Snowbird Tribal Council

Adam Wachacha and Brandon Jones     


     In this election several incumbents lost their seats, and at least one former Council member (Teresa McCoy from the Big Cove Community ) is returning after being away from Council for several years.  The Tribe’s economy is strong and the during their tenure the new Council can expect to be presented with some big-money issues, including construction of a new casino in Cherokee County,  construction of new Justice Center and construction of a new hospital (the latter two in Cherokee proper).  I would not expect, however, any substantial change in Tribal Council decision-making. 


     The new Tribal Council will be seated in October when the Board of Elections certifies the election results.  The next election cycle will be in 2015 and will include elections for Tribal Council and for Principal Chief and Vice-Chief.  The big question in 2015 will be whether incumbent Principal Chief Michell Hicks and incumbent Vice-Chief Larry Blythe will run for re-election.  Each has served multiple terms but there are no term limits in Tribal law.