You know… I bet you never thought I would be giving an endorsement to one of my staunchest opponents from the past.
A man who I’m certain had some serious disdain for me during our prior contests for election, a man who has a lot to be proud of and (as anyone who is serious will admit) also a few things to regret. A man who beat me twice fair and square, once (after a vote count in Court) by seven votes, and a second time by a little over a hundred votes. But a vote count that always kept us within a fraction of each other nearly 50% of the total.
Our races were almost legendary and set a strong rivalry in place, but we are all Cherokee and I believe we must pull together to fix what is broken and what has been ruined over the past six years. He has earned a rightful place in my respect for him. He is a real leader and a well-qualified person to head up our Tribe. He has new ideas having spent the last eight years out and around Indian Country and is ready to use his skills as a licensed CPA.
I am also confident he can find the way to bring us back to a level of honor and respect in the political arena of the State and Federal Government.
We must rebuild, and we should begin first by taking stock of where we are financially, rebuilding our treasury, and reconstituting proper financial controls and systems to protect our tribe. We must find a way to reset and rebuild the relationships that were destroyed around the state and federal government. We must not only rebuild morale and a sense of belonging within employees but also within our own tribal members. In the past few years, we have all witnessed a complete decline in how hopeful and inspired people feel, it seems that people have just thrown up their hands in disgust and checked out. But we are better than that, we are strong, resilient, and hopeful. And with the right person at the helm, we can turn this around and begin a brighter and more promising future. This will take teamwork, election of the right Tribal Council, and help from us all… together we can build a better and more positive future!
I began by stating you probably never thought you’d hear me give this man my endorsement, so hold on a minute before I do, because I must say and tell you the truth… I have not spoken to him one-on-one, and I have not asked him for a thing, nor has he offered me anything to get my endorsement. And none of his campaign workers, or anyone from his camp, approached me to get an endorsement. This endorsement comes completely from my heart in wanting what is best for our Tribe and our future.
My endorsement goes to Michell Hicks for our next Principal Chief! He is a man who stands as the best choice for our immediate future, a man who has the experience and qualifications to lead, and someone who I have grown to respect over the past several years. Yes, he was a strong opponent of mine for many years, but we are not opponents now and we must correct our course. He is the right person for the job, right now. We need to correct our path and he can get it done. I therefore ask everyone to Elect former Chief Michell Hicks for Principal Chief!
former Principal Chief