MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

June 23, 2013

Runoff coming in Cherokee District 4

Incumbents win all other council seats on ballot

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Cherokee Nation Tribal Council’s District 4 seat was left undecided after Saturday’s voting, according to unofficial results from the election commission.

Incumbent Don Garvin received 304 votes or 43.80 percent of the vote, failing to get the 50 percent plus one vote needed to win.

Garvin will face Mike Dobbins of Fort Gibson in the July 27 runoff election. Dobbins received 240 votes, or 34.58 percent of the vote.

Candidate Justin Carlton received 150 votes, or 21.61 percent.

Dobbins said the numbers show 55 percent of Saturday’s voters want a new council member and he looks forward to the runoff election.

He said his main focus is on health care, but he is also placing an emphasis on education and economic development in his campaign.

“And I feel like this district has been somewhat overlooked as far as Cherokee programs,” Dobbins said. “It's my intention to make sure this district is considered for more programs.”

Garvin said the race was a good one and he also looks forward to the runoff election.

“First I have a lot of people to thank, a lot of supporters,” he said. “Now I just need to get out on the campaign trail and win this election. I have a lot of things I still need to get accomplished.”

Garvin said his experience as a councilor is most important and his focus has also been on health care.

He said his focus now is to see that the Cherokee Nation hires more doctors and nurses and the new hospital in Tahlequah is completed on time.

In other districts, all but one incumbent secured their seats.

District 2 incumbent Joe Byrd received 416 votes, or 67.97 percent of the votes. His opponent, Tamsye Dreadfulwater, received 196 votes, or 32.03 percent.

In District 5, incumbent David W. Thornton Sr. received 311 votes, or 56.75 percent, securing his seat.

Sherri L. Doolin received 44 votes, or 8.03 percent, and Dink Scott received 193 votes, or 43.80 percent.

Overall, 14.67 percent of Cherokee Nation registered voters placed ballots in the election that saw five incumbents re-elected.

The at-large winner was incumbent Jack D. Baker. The winner in District 7 was incumbent Frankie Hargis, and the winner in District 9 was incumbent Curtis Snell.

The District 10 winner was Harley Buzzard, and the District 15 winner was challenger Janees Taylor.

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