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Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker’s campaign for chief against three-term Principal Chief Chad Smith made national news, with the months-long campaign marred by recounts, appeals and decisions by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. The original election took place June 25, 2011 with unofficial election results showing Baker in the lead. A recount of the vote on June 30, 2011 showed Baker the winner by 266 votes. After proceedings in the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court, those votes were thrown out in favor of a special election on September 24.
After the original June 25 election and before the September 24 special election, the enrollment status of the Cherokee Freedmen—the descendants of former Cherokee slaves—was revoked by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. Following this decision, Congress froze funds due the Cherokee Nation from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). After reinstating their membership and voting rights pending an appeal made in U.S. district court the September 24 vote included absentee ballots and freedmen votes. The results showed Baker the winner, with 53.97 percent of the vote.
Baker told Indian Country Today Media Network that the first few weeks of his administration were spent fulfilling campaign promises, which include expanding contract health funding into the Indian Health Service budgets; reviving the Cherokee Nation Housing Authority; fully funding tribal Head Start programs; expanding Cherokee cultural education; and hiring more Cherokees for tribal employment.
Read more:http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/03/05/bill-john-baker-policy-maker-an-interview-with-the-new-cherokee-principal-chief-101239 http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.c … z1oFl2BpSR