PEMBROKE — The candidate filing period for anyone wanting to run for the chairmanship of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina or any of seven seats on the 21-member Lumbee Tribal Council opens Monday and continues through Sept. 18. The election will be held Nov. 17.
A number of candidates are expected to enter the race for chairman, the position currently held by Paul Brooks. It is still uncertain if Brooks will be considered an eligible candidate for re-election since the tribe’s constitution limits elected public officials from serving more than two consecutive terms.
The tribe’s Supreme Court will be holding a hearing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Tribal Housing Complex on N.C. 711 to consider a petition submitted by Brooks asking for a ruling on what constitutes a “term.” Brooks was elected to complete the final year of former Chairman Purnell Swett’s term after his resignation and then was elected to three-year term in November 2012. He contends the one-year term he served should not be counted toward the constitution’s limit of two consecutive three-year terms.
This year, council seats to be filled include: District 1, Gaddy, Rowland, Orrum and Sterlings, currently held by Evan Davenport; District 4, Red Springs and Philadelphus, currently held by Jonathan Locklear; District 5, Oxendine and Prospect, currently held by Bobby Dean Oxendine; District 7, South Pembroke and Union, currently held by Robert Chavis; District 9, Saddletree, currently held by Anita Hammonds-Blanks; District 10, Shannon, Rennert and South St. Pauls, currently held by Terry Collins; and District 14, East Howellsville, Wisharts and Britts, currently held by Homer Fields.
Chavis, Collins and Fields are ineligible to seek re-election because of the term limits.
The Elections Board office has recently been relocated to 78-D, Three Hunt’s Drive in COMtech business park, just outside of Pembroke on N.C. 711.
The office will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For information, call 910-521-6985.
All of the positions are for three-year terms. Candidates for chairman must pay a $500 filing fee, while council candidates pay a fee of $250. The fees are used by the Elections Board to help offset the costs of holding the election.
To be eligible to be a candidate for chairman, candidates must be at least 35 years of age, maintained their residency in the tribal territory for the past year, and have no felony conviction.
To be eligible to serve on the Tribal Council, a person must be an enrolled tribal member of at least 21 years of age; maintained his or her principal residence in the district for no less than one year; and have no felony conviction.