Polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. today (Thursday) for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians primary elections. The general election is Sept. 5.
The top two candidates for principal chief and vice chief – they do not run as a ticket – will face off in the general election.
Facing incumbent Principal Chief Richie Sneed is Teresa McCoy, Carroll “Peanut” Crowe, Gary Ledford and Phillip Ellington.
Incumbent Vice Chief B. Ensley will face Frank Pete Taylor, Ben Parker, Jim Owle, Albert Martin, Anita Welch Lossiah, James Bud Smith and Terri Henry.
There are six tribal council election districts. The top four finishers in the primary will advance to the general election
Candidates for the Snowbird/Cherokee Co. Tribal Council are Adam Wachacha, Janell Rattler, Bucky Brown and Sherry Smoker.
Candidates for the Birdtown Tribal Council are Albert Rose, Boyd Owle, Ashley Sessions, Nelson Lambert, Curtis Wildcatt and Alyne Stamper.
Candidates for the Painttown Tribal Council are Tommye Saunooke, Dike Sneed, Lisa Taylor, Cherie Bird Rose and Pamela Sneed.
Candidates for the Big Y/Wolfetown Tribal Council are Bo Crowe, Bill Taylor, Tony Cabe, Jess “Fonzie” Sneed, Jeremy Wilson, Paula “Cricket” Brown Wojtkowski, Sam “Frell” Reed, Chelsea Saunooke, Nathaniel “Bunsey” Crowe, James David Jumper and Susan Toineeta (write-in).
Candidates for the Yellowhill Tribal Council are Tom Wahnetah, David Wolfe, Rose Shell-Maney, Tawania Ensley and Stephanie Saunooke French.
Candidates for the Big Cove Tribal Council are Fred Penick, Richard French, Renee Long Cole, Perry Shell and Walter French.
School board elections are not part of the primary and will be voted on in September.
Running for Painttown School Board are Regina Ledford Rosario and Charlotte Ann Saunooke; for Big Y School Board, Sharon E. Bradley and Tara Reed-Cooper; and Yellowhill School Board, Jennifer Thompson and Teresa Jumper Santa Maria.