Comanche Nation citizens elected a new tribal attorney and a new Business Committee representative in a runoff election Saturday that saw some of the tribe’s slimmest electoral margins in more than four years, according to unofficial results released Sunday.
On par with the May 13 general election, nearly 1,300 people voted in the runoff election. Roughly half voted through absentee ballots. Although the Comanche Nation currently has about 17,000 enrolled tribal citizens, no election has seen more than 1,500 ballots cast in the past five years.
In the race for tribal attorney, which is elected annually, prominent Oklahoma firm Crowe & Dunlevy edged out incumbent Minnesota-based firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP by seven votes. Crowe & Dunlevy received 620 votes (50.3 percent), while Dorsey & Whitney received 613 votes (49.7 percent).
Crowe & Dunlevy previously represented the Comanche Nation from 2012 to 2016. Dorsey & Whitney has represented the Comanche Nation since December 2020.
In the race for seat No. 4 on the Comanche Nation Business Committee, Jordan Fox won by nine votes, receiving 646 ballots (50.4 percent) and defeating incumbent Robert Komahcheet Jr., who received 637 votes (49.6 percent).
Incumbent Secretary/Treasurer John David Wahnee won reelection with 661 votes (51 percent). Receiving 757 votes (59 percent), incumbent Committeeperson No. 3 Alice Kassanavoid also won a second term.
Secretary/Treasurer candidate Michael Keahbone received 635 votes (49 percent). Committeeperson No. 3 candidate Tanisha Burgess received 526 votes (41 percent).
Owing to term limits, Wahnee and Kassanavoid will be ineligible to run for office in the Comanche Nation again until 2029.
Under the Comanche Nation’s election policy, candidates are allowed to file recount requests. However, the election office can grant recount requests only if the vote margin is less than 2 percent of total votes cast for a particular race or 24 votes or less, whichever is greater.
The races for committeeperson No. 4 and tribal attorney are the only two races from Saturday that qualify for recounts. The deadline to request a recount is set for 5 p.m. today. The deadline to file a challenge of the electoral process is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday.
If no challenges or recount requests are submitted, the results will be considered official after they are certified by the Comanche Nation Election Office. Elected officials are expected to be sworn in by June 23, a representative of the Comanche Nation said.