PEMBROKE — Two incumbents are among three candidates filing this week to run for the 21-member Lumbee Tribal Council.
Larry Townsend filed for re-election to the seat representing the new District 3, which includes Pembroke and Buie/Philadelphus.
“Proven leadership is a must for our Lumbee tribal government,” Townsend said in a statement. “My leadership skills and abilities on local, state and at the national level show I possess the necessary skills to help to develop further our Lumbee Tribal Government.”
Townsend is currently the Southeast Region vice president on the Executive Board of the National Congress of American Indians. He is the only member from a non-federally recognized tribe.
Townsend holds a bachelor of arts degree in Public Policy from North Carolina Wesleyan College and two associate degrees from Kings Business College. He served as a registered lobbyist in the N.C. General Assembly for more than 17 years and served more than eight years as a lobbyist in the U.S. Congress.
Townsend served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970, and was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in Vietnam.
Larry Anthony Chavis, a former member of the Tribal Council, filed previously for the seat.
The second incumbent to file was Alton Locklear, who is seeking to be re-elected to represent the new District 15, which includes Saddletree and North Lumberton.
Locklear, who has served on the Tribal Council since 2013, is currently the governor’s appointment to the North Carolina Housing Authority Board.
Locklear, who studied at Campbell University and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, is the founder and president of Lumber River Trading Company/True Value Hardware of Lumberton.
“Before 2013 the tribe was constantly getting battered by negative press with all the infighting between the council and the chairman. I felt there had to be a better way to work out disagreements and come to some type of comprise. Health care, jobs, re-hab, home replacement is what we should be discussing, not personality conflicts,” he said in a statement. “Since winning office in 2013 the infighting and negative press has almost become non-existent, major health care grants have been received through the hard work of council members, re-hab and new construction of homes are at an all-time high … . The assets of the tribe have increased by $25 million since 2013.”
Locklear is chairman of the council’s Economic Development Committee and board member of Lumbee Tribal Enterprise, a company owned by the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. He is president-elect of the Lumberton Area Chamber of Commerce.
Locklear is also a former board member and past president of the Kiwanis Club of Lumberton, past chairman of the Robeson County Partnership for Children, and past member of the Governor’s Council for Economic Development.
Corbin Eddings filed for the newly created District 1, which includes North and South Pembroke and the Pine Lake area.
Eddings, a lifelong resident of Pembroke, served in the U.S. Marines from 1988 to 1993. He received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, with a minor in Business Administration from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 1997.
Eddings is the owner/agent of Corbin Eddings State Farm Insurance Agency.
“My goal as a council member is to continue the effort to expand 8a certification, leading to job creation and an improved economy,” he said in a statement. “I will also look to increase communication and unity within the council, between the council and administration, and ultimately between the government and the people.”
Those wishing to file for one of the seven seats open on the council can do so weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at the Lumbee Board of Elections Office at COMtech. The last day of filing is Sept. 23, when the office will remain open until 5 p.m.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.