By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer
One in a series on candidates seeking office on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council.
R. “Eddie” LaGrone is running for another term, hoping to “serve as a bridge to opportunity for all citizens,” he said.
“I offer a fresh approach and creative ideas to old problems and new solutions,” he said. “I seek re-election to another term to continue working as an advocate for Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizens.”
LaGrone is the incumbent for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council Seat B in the Muskogee District. He faces Joyce Deer in the Sept. 21 election.
LaGrone said he has a number of initiatives he hopes to continue, including “the Muscogee Casino expansion and hotel, a day clinic in Muskogee, Butler Creek Church road project, and the streamlining of the education system, to name a few, that require my undivided and continued support to complete.”
There are additional citizen initiatives yet to research and legislate that will ultimately improve livelihoods and create opportunities for Muscogee citizens, he said.
LaGrone said the tribe’s greatest concern is having adequate revenue streams to pay for essential government services.
“The expansion of existing casino operations is a business strategy I support,” he said. “Casino expansion will increase revenues to the Nation’s treasury and will create additional jobs and tax revenue benefiting the entire region.”
With increased revenue, the tribe will be in a better position to address increasing demand for health, education, housing and family services as dictated by the Constitution of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, he said. “Muscogee Creek citizens demand and deserve quality services delivered timely,” LaGrone said.
LaGrone is also focused on safeguarding the tribe’s sovereignty, which has been a major issue for 500 years and continues to be so today, he said.
In addition, preservation and promotion of Muscogee culture and tradition is very important to Muscogee citizens, he said.
“It is also important in measuring the overall health of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s government,” he said.
Preservation of the arts, historical and traditional Muscogee Creek churches, ceremonial grounds and language are important and must be supported and advanced, he said.
LaGrone said his ability to “think outside of the box and present fresh and creative strategies to resolving old and continuing problems” makes him most qualified to continue as a National Council member.
“I bring to the table innovative methods and processes that will result in intended solutions,” he said. “I am a believer in collaboration and cooperation to create a promising future for those Muscogee citizens now and those yet to come.”
LaGrone has 34 years experience in federal Indian law, applied tribal government experience, a relevant academic background, encompassed by traditional Muscogee values and tradition, he said.
He has served on the board of the Five Civilized Tribes Museum for two different terms. He is a current board member of the National Indian Monument and Institute and is a member in good standing of the Federal Bar Association.
Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the candidate
NAME: R. Eddie LaGrone.
OFFICE SOUGHT: Muskogee District National Council Seat B.
FAMILY: Wife of 33 years, Elizabeth, five children, five grandchildren.
OCCUPATION: Muscogee (Creek) Nation legislator.
EDUCATION: University of Oklahoma, University of Colorado, East Central University, graduate work from Northeastern State University. Course of study includes accounting, economics, and management.
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION: Little Quarsarty Baptist Church. Green Leaf Ceremonial Ground.
HOBBIES: Reading history, science, law reviews and business journals, football, travel, and fishing.
Your vote counts
WHAT: Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council election.
WHERE: Various sites throughout the Creek Nation.
WHEN: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
INFO: Voters who are unsure of where they are registered should call the Election Board office before Election Day at (918) 732-7631 or (918) 732-7736.
Area polling places
• Muscogee Indian Community, 335 N. 4th St., Muskogee.
• Checotah Indian Community, 500 Owens Ave., Checotah.
• Eufaula Indian Community, 703 W. Forrest Ave., Eufaula.