Editor’s Note – Responses from legislative candidates appear exactly as they were submitted without editing for content or style.

Paul Wesselhöft

Headshot of CPN District 9 Legislator Paul Wesselhoft.

My Native American name is Naganit meaning Leader.

I have been a leader, in various capacities, all my adult life. Leadership comes to me both naturally and as learned lessons. I have learned leadership traits from numerous peers, legislators, colonels, generals, CEOs, and prominent government leaders. Most of these people provided me excellent examples of leadership, a couple have demonstrated failures of leadership. I have learned from both.

In our national legislature I am a leader and a respected collogue. Along with the executive and legislative branch, I helped guide our nation into prosperity and national significance. My opinions and arguments are well respected in our legislature. That’s not to say I always get my way, I don’t. However, my fellow representatives take my questions, concerns, suggestions, and votes seriously.  

I’m asking you to trust me with leading our legislature for another term. I’m wholeheartedly dedicated to bringing our legislature into greater prosperity, heighten cultural heritage, and national prominence. Please vote for me. I desire to represent you, Oklahomans, into even greater days and years. Thank you. 

Matt Higdon

Bozho ndénwemagnek, (Hello all my relations) I wanted to include some of our language in my final statement of this campaign as a promise to use, learn, and grow our language. This is also a part of my promise, if elected, to never stop learning. I do not know how to be a Tribal Legislator, just as I do not know much of our language, but I will never stop learning and growing. This is why I chose to get my Masters in Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma. I want to learn how to serve the citizens of this tribe in the best possible way. I have a great example and a very high standard set for me by my elders and past Tribal Leaders.

As I have gone through this campaign, I have come to realize just how valuable my role as Legislator could be mainly just to be the voice for my fellow tribal members. I want to be the legislator that people know and can come talk to at any time, and I want to be the legislator that you see at all our tribal events.

I also want to be truthful in the fact that if elected even I do not know how I will do as your representative. However, I can make a promise and keep it. I promise I will learn from this and learn how to better represent our great tribal nation, protect its sovereignty, and grow our culture. I have never been the type of person to back down from a challenge like this, and I know I will not be alone in this quest as I have my ancestors, the tribal elders, and every citizen of this tribe to learn from and to receive advice from.

I want to say Igwien to every past and present tribal official because of you I can run for this office and hopefully serve the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Migwetch, Migwetch, Migwetch to every tribal member as well for keeping our tribe alive and growing. Migwetch to any supporters I may have, I hope to meet you one day. Migwetch, to anyone does not support me as well, because you are still engaging in our election process and keeping a healthy debate going. Chi Migwetch to my opponent for serving our tribe, you have helped contribute to our tribe just as I hope to one day.

Yours truly,

Matt Higdon.