Wofford, Tidwell in Dec. runoff for Cooweescoowee District
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
TAHLEQUAH - The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians Election Board has announced there will be a Dec. 3 runoff election for the Cooweescoowee District between Clifford Wofford and Jeannie Tidwell.
Unofficial election results from Nov. 5’s Cooweescoowee midterms showed that Wofford received 25 votes and 49.02 percent of the vote, followed by Jeannie Tidwell with 21 votes and 41.18 percent of the vote. Ramona Ukestine rounded out the three with 5 votes and 9.80 percent of the vote.
The results were expected to be officially certified on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Per the UKB Election Ordinance Section 301 (B)(1), “if no candidate receives the majority of the votes, the two (2) candidates with the highest number of votes cast in the Regular Election will advance to the run-off election.”
Voting will take place on Dec. 3 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tidwell said she felt “good” about the results of the election.
“I feel good considering the amount of time that I was afforded to be able to campaign,” she said. “I want to thank all the people that voted. I want to thank all the people that supported me. My biggest one was my sister.”
Tidwell said she is focused on health care and will make that her priority should she win December’s election.
“Our elders need it and our children need it," she said. "You have young families out there that can’t afford health insurance due to their jobs. One of my members has health issues and it concerns her because she can’t get the health care she needs.”
Tidwell said she is reaching out to voters in a variety of ways.
“I think social media was a big thing. I did a lot of flyers. I went out and visited people. We did some rides as well,” she said. “We will be ready to pick them up if they are willing to go. I would like to see record voting this time. I would like to see a big turnout.”
Wofford did not respond as of press time.
The winner of the runoff election will be sworn into office during the regular monthly tribal council meeting to be held the first Saturday of January 2019.