PEMBROKE — With his eligibility as a candidate undecided, Lumbee Tribal Chairman Paul Brooks filed Wednesday to run for re-election in November.
Brooks joins two other candidates in the race for chairman, Harvey Godwin Jr. and Lynn B. Jacobs.
Also filing Wednesday for re-election to the 21-member Lumbee Tribal Council was Jonathan Locklear, the District 4 incumbent. Neither he nor Brooks provided The Robesonian with any information or a photo.
As ordered by the Lumbee Supreme Court, the Lumbee Board of Elections now has three business days to rule if Brooks is eligible for re-election. The policy of the Elections Board for years has been to certify all candidates after the end of the filing period. This year the filing period began Monday and will run through Sept. 18.
According to Sheila Beck-Jones, chairman of the Elections Board, her five-member board will meet Monday morning to review Brooks’ application for re-election and decide if he is eligible to be on the Nov. 17 ballot.
Brooks’ eligibility is in question because the Lumbee Constitution prohibits a chairman from serving more than two consecutive terms. Brooks was elected to serve the remaining year of former Chairman Purnell Swett’s three-year term before being elected to his current three-year term in November 2012.
The Lumbee Supreme Court still has under consideration a petition by Brooks saying that the time he served filling the unexpired term should not be considered a “term.” In two previous Supreme Court cases, the justices ruled that a partial term counts as a full three-year term.
Locklear, an administrator with the Public Schools of Robeson County, is seeking his second three-year term representing Red Springs and the Philadelphus community.
Those wishing to file for chairman or one of seven council seats can do so at the Elections Board office at 78-D, Three Hunts Drive in COMtech business park, just outside of Pembroke on N.C. 711. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Candidates for chairman must pay a $500 filing fee, while council candidates pay a fee of $250.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.