District 8 challenger Clyde Slavin willing to shake things up
April 7, 2014
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April 8, 2014

Washington’s Dave Carney ready to run on his record


More than thirty thousand CPN tribal members reside across the globe and each has an elected representative. Overseeing the geographically largest district in the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s legislature is Olympia, Wash.’s Dave Carney, who is currently running for his third term.

Born in Rahway, N.J., Carney’s family relocated to the San Francisco area where he attended high school and college. The San Francisco State University alumnus grew up with the knowledge that he was Potawatomi, but due to the tribe’s former citizenship qualifications, was unable to join the tribal rolls until the 1980s. He and his sister Eva Marie Carney, District 2’s legislator, are descendants of Narcisse Juneau, a member of the Tribal business committee who was among the first Potawatomi to scout the original Oklahoma allotments in the 1860s.

“I grew up knowing about my heritage, but like many people in my generation, I didn’t really get into it until I had the opportunity to join the tribal rolls,” said Carney. “I wasn’t raised in a traditional Potawatomi way, but I have made it my goal to learn as much as I can as a representative and tribal member.”

Along with his wife Nicole and four kids, Carney has lived in Olympia since 1999. His oldest son is at the University of Washington at Seattle. Though a busy family man and real estate agent, Carney initially decided to run for elected office following a two year gap in the region’s representation due the untimely passing of the late Jackie Taylor.

“I had my own ideas on how the job should be done and I felt it was time to do my part,” he explained.

Due to the restructuring of the Tribal system of government in 2008, Carney was amongst a handful of legislators who initially ran for short terms. In his first election during the 2009 Family Reunion Festival, Carney was amongst five competitors for the District 8 seat.

“It was my first time to come to Oklahoma, and I was expecting to leave a legislator,” Carney recalled. “Instead, I left as a candidate in a run off for the seat.”

Ultimately successful in that first election, he served a shortened six month term before running again in 2010 for a four year session.

“I initially ran, and am running again, because I felt there was a need for members to have a hands-on person representing them, and that is what I’ve been doing. I’ve got a big district, but I’ve been out across this part of the country meeting with folks.”

Carney’s massive district, which includes the U.S.’ largest state of Alaska, can make meeting with constituents a challenge. Though Carney believes that challenge is being addressed due to his efforts at fostering Potawatomi gatherings, even if he’s unable to attend in person.

“I feel like I’m getting a lot more out of it than what I put in,” he said. “Especially working with elders who have always known they’re Potawatomi but have had a difficult time connecting with their heritage due to the distances between them and the Tribe’s base in Oklahoma. Introducing them to our customs and practices is extremely rewarding.” {jb_quoteright}“As an incumbent, I run on my record. What I said I was going to do, I’ve done. I’m proud of how I’ve built the community up in District 8, and we’ve got some very organic growth without me organizing it. This comes from the outreach I’ve done, and looking at what we’ve done up here to this point, it is my pride and joy.”{/jb_quoteright}

With elections approaching in June, Carney says he is proud to stand on his past accomplishments as District 8 legislator.

“As an incumbent, I run on my record. What I said I was going to do, I’ve done. I’m proud of how I’ve built the community up in District 8, and we’ve got some very organic growth without me organizing it. This comes from the outreach I’ve done, and looking at what we’ve done up here to this point, it is my pride and joy.”

All registered CPN tribal members over the age of 18 on Election Day who live in District 8 are eligible to vote in person or by absentee ballot in the election. For those unable to vote in person during the CPN Family Reunion Festival in June, absentee ballot request forms have been mailed out. Absentee ballots will be mailed out after May 1, 2014. For those interested in learning more about Dave Carney, more information can be found at www.dave-carney.com or he can be reached at dcarney@potawatomi.org.