Incumbent Mark Randolph will face challenger Dierdra Thompson in the race for the Muscogee National Council’s Wagoner/Rogers/Mayes District B seat.
A primary election will be held Sept. 18., with absentee voting underway and early voting set for Sept. 15 and 16. Because there are only two candidates in the race, the winner of the primary will take the seat with no general election.
This year’s Council elections mark the first election cycle since the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed existence of the Muscogee Reservation in July 2020, a decision with ramifications that tribal leaders are working to implement.
The district covers parts of Wagoner, Mayes and Rogers counties and includes the cities of Wagoner and Coweta in its boundaries. Each of the eight districts represented in the tribe’s National Council has an A and a B seat, which are up for grabs in alternating elections. Representatives serve four-year terms on the Council.
Below is a look at the candidates for the Wagoner/Rogers/Mayes District B seat. The following information was gathered from publicly available sources, and candidates are presented in alphabetical order.
Mark Randolph (Incumbent)
Profession: A social worker, Randolph is the incumbent representative for the Wagoner/Rogers/Mayes District seat B.
Experience: Randolph has held his seat on the Council since 2012 and is completing his second full term. Randolph holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas.
Platform: On his campaign page, Randolph calls himself “the people’s advocate.” This past year, he proposed the unanimously passed legislation that restored the editorial independence of Mvskoke Media.
If re-elected, Randolph said on Facebook that he plans to introduce laws that empower the people of the nation and also work as a team player to solve the problems that stand in the way of the nation’s success. Randolph said he would also continue to help solve problems by seeking community input, something he believes is essential.
Profession: Thompson is an admissions and enrollment administrative assistant for the Muscogee Nation.
Experience: Thompson previously ran for the Wagoner/Rogers/Mayes District A seat in 2019, losing to Charles McHenry. She is involved in running Este Mvskokvlke Em Vkerrickv Onvkv (“Creek citizens speaking their thoughts”), a Facebook page that serves as an outlet for coverage and discussion of tribal issues.
Platform: Thompson has said she has a number of priorities if elected. Among them are increasing funding for elder care, expanding support for youth and preserving tribal culture and sovereignty. She also favors increased transparency and supports free and open access to media so that nation members can be better informed.
On her Facebook campaign page, however, Thompson has expressed opposition to the press-freedom ballot measure that is also up for a vote on Sept. 18. The question asks voters whether to enshrine Mvskoke Media’s independence and funding into the Muscogee Constitution.
Thompson called the language of the ballot question “misleading” and has called Mvskoke Media biased. She says the news outlet should not be given tribal money without tribal oversight.