MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 30, 2012

Creek election on tap

2 seats open on National Council

— A special election of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation will be held May 5 to elect two National Council seats.

Mark Randolph of Coweta is running for Wagoner, Rogers and Mayes County District Seat B, which expires in 2013.

Randolph is a social worker with a master’s degree, who has worked in the field for about 23 years.

“I believe in servant leadership, and I believe that we need some new ideas, some new energy, new thought to create some positive change,” Randolph said.

Randolph faces off against Barbara Gillespie, the director of Indian Education for Coweta Public Schools.

Gillespie served as a National Council Representative for the Wagoner District from 1994 to 2006. During that time she served as chairwoman on three standing committees.

Gillespie said she stresses the need to follow the law — both the tribe’s Constitution and federal law — and streamline rules and regulations to better serve the needs of the people.

“In 2005 we had a convention, and some changes were made to our Constitution,” Gillespie said. “Many of those changes have not been clarified. The Constitution is the voice of the people, and when we understand our Constitution, we understand what our people want.”

The Creek District Seat B is also open, and five candidates are vying for the position: Dode Warrington Barnett of Sapulpa; Frances A. Morgan of Bristow; Dean Tiger of Kellyville; Larry R. Thayer of Sapulpa; and Roman Watashe of Sapulpa.

An amendment of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Constitution changed the voting system to at-large rather than district. All Creek Nation voters are able to vote for each National Council representative.

Accordingly, all 18 precincts will be open for the primary election May 5 and general special election, if needed, July 7.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

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