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May 18, 2013

Cherokee Nation election in June

Pryor Times

The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council election is scheduled for June 22.

Districts 10, 11 and 15 cover the Mayes county area.

Chuck Hoskins, Jr. ran unopposed for District 11.

District 10 candidates has dropped from

three to two after the Cherokee Nation Election Commission ruled Melvina Shotpouch ineligible to run for the Dist. 10 Tribal Council seat in accordance with a Supreme Court decision that places her residence outside of the district. Shotpouch lives about 1,000 feet south of the District boundary line.

Meredith Frailey’s candidacy was also challenged in regards to exceeding term limits approved by voters in 2011, but the Election Commission rejected the challenge.

Voters will choose between Harley Buzzard and Nettie Detherage for the tribal seat.

Detherage has worked for the Cherokee Nation for more than 20 years. She also spent 19 years with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. She recently left her job to focus full-time on the election.

Detherage and her husband, Tom, have lived in Fairland for 40 years and have raised two children, Christie and Matt. They now are enjoying six grandchildren. She has studied at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Northeastern State University and is also proud of her classes at the Afton Vo-Tech.

Detherage said she intends to be a “working councilor, one out in the communities talking to people.”

Harley L. Buzzard, is also running for the District 10 seat. He served previously on the council, representing Delaware County from 2007 - 2011. While on the council, he served as chairman of the Community Services Committee.

During his tenure, Buzzard was key in bringing jobs to Delaware County through a laundry service. He also worked to open the Jay Tag Office.

Prior to serving on the Cherokee Nation council, Buzzard was employed at the Cherokee Nation for 24 years. Buzzard managed the water and sanitation programs and engineering. He also served as the Director of Roads and later as the Senior Director of Infrastructure.

Buzzard is a U.S. Army veteran and a graduate of Haskell Institute, Lawrence, Kan.

He lives near Jay with his wife, Cynthia, and has two children, Haley and Darren. Cynthia works at the Sam Hider Health Clinic as a patient services advocate.

District 15 offers incumbent Meredith Frailey and two challengers: Marilyn Cooper and Janees Taylor.

Meredith Frailey of Locust Grove, is currently serving on the tribal council. She has served as Speaker of the Council as well

as the Rules Committee Chair.

“I appreciate the honor of being part of a dedicated and dynamic team that worked together over the last decade to grow our Cherokee Nation assets from $150 million to $1.2 billion, our healthcare services from $18 million to $310 million, created 6,000 jobs and see an outstanding historic resurgence in education, language and cultural preservation” Frailey said.

She graduated from Locust Grove High School, earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northeastern State University, and earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa Law School.

She is the daughter of the late Susie Swimmer. She has one son, Brandon, and twin grandchildren, Sidney and Jaysie Frailey.

Certified Public Accountant and local business owner, Janees Taylor of Pryor also seeks the District 15 Tribal Council seat.

The mother of two is running for office for the first time.

“I’m a proud Cherokee citizen and it is my honor to run for Council District 15. As our nation moves in a new and better direction, we have the opportunity to make unprecedented differences in the lives of our people. I believe that my campaign will offer a fresh outlook and add a new voice to the council,” Taylor said recently.

Taylor says she will uphold the Cherokee Nation Constitution, and a two term limit, a position supported by the voters as recently as 2011.

“As a CPA I know the value of a dollar. I will watch the nation’s finances closely to ensure the Cherokee business profits make it to our people. If I have the opportunity to serve on Council, I will stop any deal that doesn’t make sense. As a Cherokee, I will lead by example to stop council members from fighting each other so we can all focus on creating a Nation that gives a better quality of life to our people.” Taylor said.

Marilyn Cooper is also running for the District 15 chair. Repeated attempts to secure a biography for Cooper failed.


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