By Angel Ellis/Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma–Former National Council Second Speaker, turned Principal Chief Elect David Hill took an early lead on his opponent in the General Election Dec. 14. According to the official results, Hill will be the Principal Chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation once inaugurated on Jan 4.
The first precinct numbers to reported on election night were the absentee ballots, which favored Hill by about 200 hundred votes over his opponent Bim Steve Bruner.
Historically, absentee voters play a large role in MCN elections due to the fact that many citizens reside outside of the Muscogee (Creek) boundaries, and because election laws allow even in-territory voters to request absentee ballots.
All precincts reported in by approximately 9 p.m. and reflected that David Hill of Bristow maintained the lead finishing the race with 3,399 or 65.64% of the vote. The tallies for Bruner in the unofficial reports show he took 1,779 or 34.36% of the votes.
Hill addressed a large crowd at his watch party, expressing his gratitude to many of his supporters, his desire to establish trust and to work together.
Hill spoke about the support he has gotten from other officials, “I’m going to be reaching out to them…they’ve been there before.”
“This was never about me,” Hill said with his voice thick from emotion. “It was about the citizens.”
Hill will have a shorter than anticipated window to make his transition into office due to the extra round election this year.
“I do have a lot of work ahead of me, in only two weeks,” Hill said. “But the employees … you will be helping me.”
“I have to build that trust back, with the citizens and all the employees.”
“It’s not going to happen without [Employees] help,” Hill said.
Other offices decided in the general election include MCN National Council Seats A for Creek, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Tukvpvtce, and Wagnor/Rogers/Mayes districts.
Joseph Hicks won the Creek District over Dean Hughes. Hicks earned 2,520 or 51.54%, while Hughes trailed with 2,369 or 48.46%. Hicks will fill in the Creek District seat vacated by David Hill.
Mary Crawford and Lora Harjo-King ran the closest race margin. The Muskogee seat went to Crawford, who held just 51 more votes than Harjo-King. Crawford took 2,454 or 50.53% of the votes and Harjo-King came in at 49.47% with 2,403 votes.
Okmulgee was the second closest race in the election. William Lowe won the seat carrying just 86 votes more than Carmen Tecumseh Williams.
Lowe finished the race 2504 or 50.87% and Tecumseh-Williams earned 2,418 or 49.13%. The race was close for the two candidates for the Okmulgee seat. Early in the evening votes favored Tecumseh-Williams.
Anna Marshall managed to leap out ahead of Incumbent Rufus Scott with absentee ballots. While Scott did close the gap, his 2,021 or 41.52 % wasn’t enough to compete with Marshalls 2846 or 58.48%.
In the Wagoner District, Charles “Son” McHenry won the seat with 283 votes over Dierdra Soap. Soap finished the evening with 2,307 or47.05 % and McHenry earned 2,590 or 52.95%.
All results in the general election became official Dec. 20 at 5 p.m.