In this year’s only competitive legislative race, incumbent legislator Bobbi Bowden seeks to retain her seat in District 13 against challenger Samuel Navarre. Representative Bowden answered some questions about herself, her past work in service of the Tribe and some issues she would focus on in the upcoming legislative session should she win reelection.

Where are you from?

“I was born in Oklahoma City. When I was three years old my family moved to Choctaw, Okla., which is located approximately 25 miles east of Shawnee and our Tribal headquarters,  and that is where I reside today.

What family are you from?

“I am a member of the Trombla Family.” 

What do you do for a living?

“After working in the real estate and title industry for over 20 years, I now have my own business doing interior design and coordination for home builders. I am also currently working on obtaining my license to sell real estate.  I feel my business and real estate background bring a great deal to my position as a representative of the Tribe.”

Were you raised in a traditional family?

“Growing up, my great- grandparents and my father made sure we knew that we are Potawatomi but I did not grow up in a “‘traditional Potawatomi home'”.

“This is one of the things I feel I am able to relate to other Tribal members on.  Not knowing what to expect, or what to wear or what to do is a very intimidating feeling.   In 2007 when I attended my first Family Reunion Festival, it might have been one of the most nervous times of my life.   

“I learn something new all the time.  Our elders and leaders have so much to teach us and are willing to help lead us in the right direction.  I hope anyone with any questions will contact me without hesitation and I will do my very best to point them in the right direction to get the information they are looking for.”

Why are you running for the District 13 legislative seat again?

“I am running for legislative representative of District 13 again because representing our Tribe is a very important part of my life.  I would like to continue to serve and get information to Tribal members on the benefits the Tribe offers as well as continue to learn and pass on information on traditions.  

“It is important for the future of our Tribe for us to continue to build our enterprises to insure benefits for the future of our Tribal members.”

Why is the legislature important?  

“The legislative branch is a very important part of our government.   We do not always agree on each subject but we have a broad range of very intelligent people who are willing to listen and work together in the best interest of the Tribe so we will continue to prosper and grow economically and traditionally.   

“I was elected to the five person business committee in 2007.  Since that time I have served the Tribe while we have created and implemented a new constitution as well as grow to a 16 -member legislative body with representatives in each district.  

“Our enterprises continue to grow and prosper which has allowed us to build and open our eagle aviary, expand the dental clinic, open the West Health Clinic, expand the date of those eligible for the Health Aid Program as well as increasing scholarships to name a few things.”

“In order for us to procure and expand the benefits we are blessed to provide as members our enterprises must continue to expand and be successful.”

What are some issues you’ll focus on if re-elected?    

“I would like to see additional housing and care provided for our elders.  Expand the meal delivery service outside of the Shawnee area as well as provide additional transportation to our elders as needed.  I am very proud of the educational opportunities we are able to offer our Tribal members.  I would like to see that continue to increase.

“If I am fortunate enough to be re-elected and continue to serve our Nation I will do my very best to get the information on services and benefits  out to our members as well as share any and all information I learn on traditions.   I will always listen to members on concerns and do my best to get answers for any questions you might have.   I will continue to ask questions, I will continue to learn and share my experiences in the hopes of getting more of our members involved in traditions as well as benefit from the services we are able to provide.”