Incumbents won all three Chickasaw Nation Tribal Legislature seats that were up for grabs in the election that wrapped up Tuesday, according to results provided by the tribe’s election secretary, Rita Loder.
The election was originally scheduled to conclude July 27, but the Tribal Legislature voted last month to extend the ballot deadline, owing to technical issues with the distribution of ballots. The Chickasaw Nation general election is conducted entirely through absentee ballots, and no hand-delivered ballots are accepted.
Incumbent Toby Perkins of Ada won the Pontotoc District Seat 1 race with 2,312 votes. Challengers Bailey Walker and Monty Stick received 668 and 648 votes, respectively.
Perkins, who is also an executive at the legal services company LegalShield, was first elected to the Tribal Legislature in 2011 and has served as chairman of several committees, including finance and education.
“Thank you for all the kind words and support during my re-election campaign,” Perkins wrote on his political Facebook page. “I am honored by your trust, and will continue working hard to serve our Chickasaw citizens! Chokma’shki!”
Pontotoc District 2 seat incumbent Nancy Elliott retained her position as well after picking up 2,844 votes. She defeated challenger Oscar Gore, who received 797 votes.
Elliott is a retired educator who has held the seat for four terms after being elected for the first time in 2009. She currently serves as chairperson of the tribe’s finance committee.
“I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement during my re-election campaign for Chickasaw Tribal Legislature,” Elliott wrote on Facebook. “I am honored to be able to serve for another term. I will continue to work hard to serve the Chickasaw people. Yakookay.”
Shana Hammond will serve another term as legislator for Pickens District Seat 4. Hammond received 1,571 votes, beating Wanda Scott, who received 546 votes.
Hammond serves as director of Girls on the Run of Southern Oklahoma, an organization that works to inspire and empower girls. She was first elected in 2009.
Pickens District Seat 1, Tishomingo District Seat 1 and Supreme Court Seat 2 were also up for election in 2021, however, those seats’ incumbents drew no challengers.
Elected officials are scheduled to take their oath of office Oct. 1.
The Chickasaw Nation Tribal Legislature comprises 13 seats from four legislative districts, with legislators elected to three-year terms. The Chickasaw Nation covers all or parts of 13 Oklahoma counties, and its headquarters are based in Ada. The tribe’s historic reservation was affirmed by an Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals decision earlier this year following the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma.