On Saturday, Joey Tom won the runoff election for the Choctaw Nation Tribal Council District 7 seat with 660 votes (52.3 percent) over Adrian Johnico with 603 votes (47.7 percent), according to unofficial results.
In the July 10 general election, Tom received 460 votes (40.1 percent) to Johnico’s 421 votes (36.7 percent) in the District 7 race. There were 1,148 total votes cast on July 10 and 1,263 votes cast in the runoff.
Tom sent a statement to NonDoc this morning thanking his supporters, including the outgoing District 7 lawmaker.
“Halito. My family and I are overwhelmed with the support, love, and trust shown to us in District 7. It is a grateful heart, a humble spirit, and pride in our great Choctaw Nation that fills my thoughts today as I thank all who have worked alongside us, prayed for us, and trusted me with your confidence and vote,” Tom said. “Our strong Chahta foundation of faith, family, and culture was felt at every step of this election, strengthening our bond of birth and uniting us all to work together for a bright future. I am thankful to retiring council member Jack Austin, Sr. for his many years of service, and will strive everyday to serve our people as well to the best of my ability. A new day is dawning with opportunity for a bright future as we move forward. I will work every day to be a strong advocate for our district. Chi Pisa la Chike and God bless you.”
Johnico thanked the Choctaw people for high voter turnout and their support in a Facebook post.
“I want to thank the 1,263 voters who turned out for the Choctaw Nation District 7 runoff election today. That’s a great turnout, and shows how much you care,” Johnico said. “I may have lost the race, but I am thankful, and have won so much over the years, by getting to know so many Choctaw people. I will cherish the relationships I have built, and continue to be a voice for the people.”
Johnico said he hopes Tom has a “good term” in office.
“I wish Joey Tom the best in his new role as Tribal Councilman. He has faced a lot of challenges, and I wish him health and a good term,” Johnico said. “Thanks for all those that voted for me, and for all those that participated in the election. I am proud to be Choctaw, and look forward to continuing to serve Choctaw people. Yakoke.”
District 7 of the Choctaw Nation is located within the Pushmataha County boundaries. Council members are elected to terms of four years.
The results are unofficial until the Choctaw Nation Election Board certifies the results in the coming days.
Joey Tom wins District 7 in close race
According to the Choctaw Nation tribal election guide, Tom has lived in Wright City for 16 years. He earned an associate’s degree in applied science from the Oklahoma State University — Okmulgee campus. He worked in surveillance at the Broken Bow Choctaw Casino before moving on to work with Choctaw Nation Outreach Services for the last 13 years. Tom now works in youth outreach, serving more than 200 students within the Choctaw Nation.
Endorsed by outgoing District 7 councilmember Jack Austin, Tom wrote in campaign materials that his top priorities include maintaining tribal identity through traditions, as well as listening to the concerns of tribal citizens and acting on them.