Citizen Potawatomi Nation general election, Andrew Walters and David Barrett
Incumbent District 11 Tribal Legislator Andrew Walters and incumbent District 10 Tribal Legislator David Barrett were reelected in the Citizen Potawatomi Nation's general election Saturday, June 24, 2023. (Provided)

Citizen Potawatomi Nation members reelected two members of their Tribal Legislature and approved the annual budget during Saturday’s general election, according to unofficial results. Meanwhile, one incumbent tribal legislator ran unopposed and won by default.

Of the five Tribal Legislature seats representing Citizen Potawatomi members in Oklahoma, Districts 10, 11 and 13 were up for election this year. The 16-person Tribal Legislature includes the tribe’s chairman, vice chairman, secretary-treasurer and 13 representatives from across the United States. All members of the Tribal Legislature serve four-year terms.

Incumbent District 10 Tribal Legislator David Barrett was reelected for a fifth consecutive term with 309 votes (62.9 percent). Challenger Charles Scott received 182 votes (37.1 percent).

With 260 votes (55.3 percent), incumbent District 11 Tribal Legislator Andrew Walters was reelected for his first full term. District 11 candidate Jay Laughlin received 210 votes (44.7 percent).

Walters was first elected in February 2021 by default. He ran unopposed after former District 11 Tribal Legislator Lisa Kraft stepped down to run for tribal chairman in 2021 only five days before the candidate filing deadline.

That year, Laughlin filed a protest with the tribe’s election committee after the candidate filing deadline passed. He said he had wanted to run for the vacant seat and that the seat was not properly advertised. The protest was ultimately rejected by the tribe’s Election Commission. Laughlin previously ran for District 13 in 2019 and District 9 in 2020.

Incumbent District 13 Tribal Legislator Bobbi Bowden ran unopposed and won a fifth consecutive term by default.

The tribal budget was overwhelmingly approved with 1,466 people (94.3 percent) voting for it and only 89 people (5.7 percent) voting against it.

The Citizen Potawatomi Nation general election results are unofficial until certified by the Election Commission. The deadline for candidates to contest or request a recount of the election results is 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, which is when the results are expected to be certified.

Headquartered in Shawnee, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation holds tribal jurisdiction in parts of Cleveland County and Pottawatomie County. Currently, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation has more than 38,000 enrolled citizens.