Each year the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s tribal legislature holds elections for seats in the tribal legislature. Legislative terms are staggered, meaning a certain number of seats are always on the ballot while a wholesale turnover of elected representatives is impossible, keeping continuity and institutional knowledge in the tribe’s elected government body.

This year, the offices of chairman and legislative districts 1-4 are on the ballot. Incumbent John “Rocky” Barrett will face challenger Steve Castaneda for the tribe’s highest executive office. The offices of vice-chairman and secretary-treasurer along with that of the chairman have seats in the 16-person legislative body. 

District 1 consists of the northeast sections of the United States, where incumbent Roy Slavin looks to be reelected to another four year term after no opposition registered to run. 

In District 2, incumbent Eva Marie Carney also will serve another four year term in office where she oversees the activities and interests of Citizen Potawatomi living in the southeast United States. No opponents registered for the District 2 race.

District 3, which encompasses eastern Texas and the major metropolitan areas of Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio will have a competitive race this year. Incumbent Robert Whistler will seek another four year term in a race against Jahn Eric Humphreys.

For all Kansans in the Citizen Potawatomi nation, District 4 will also feature a competitive race as incumbent Jon Boursaw seeks to retain his seat against former tribal legislator Theresa Adame. Boursaw narrowly defeated Adame in the 2013 election. Also on the ballot at this year’s elections will be the annual tribal budget, which must be approved by a majority of voters.

For the budget and chairman votes, all Citizen Potawatomi of voting age can cast a ballot. In the legislative district races, only those Citizen Potawatomi of voting age living in the respective districts can cast a ballot for those offices.

Voting can be done in person on June 24 at the annual CPN Family Reunion Festival. Absentee ballot request forms will be mailed out in the spring by the CPN Election Committee to addresses provided by the CPN Tribal Rolls Department. CPN members are encouraged to contact tribal rolls as soon as possible to update their address information in order to receive a ballot request form.

Further information about the candidates and races to take place at this year’s tribal Election Day on June 24 will be in upcoming editions of the Hownikan.