McCoy, Sneed to face off in September Chief’s race

by Jun 11, 2019Front Page, NEWS ka-no-he-da





Richard G. Sneed, incumbent Principal Chief, and Teresa McCoy, a former long-time Big Cove Tribal Council representative, will square off in the race for the Principal Chief’s office in September’s General Election.  With 1,132 (39.57 percent) votes, McCoy topped the field for the top office in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in the Primary Election held Thursday, June 6.  She was followed by Chief Sneed with 1,117 (39.04 percent).

“The results were as we had anticipated, and I am very happy to be through to the general election,” said Chief Sneed.  “We have a lot of work to do leading up to the general election and I’m ready to do the work to ensure the continued progress and prosperity of the Eastern Band.”

McCoy said of Thursday’s Primary, “Much gratitude goes out to the people that took the time to vote and who put their trust in me and others, to serve this great nation.  This primary election shows that we have an interest in making our community the best it can be for all members equally.  I am satisfied with the outcome and look forward to leading and protecting the rights and resources of our people.”

She added, “My plan for a healthy nation has been embraced by our communities and will continue to evolve as we explore the common needs that exist among our members.  I will address areas from addiction to housing, cultural preservation to economy, and everything else that we spend tribal dollars on.  Our tribal workforce does a tremendous job, and we can always work to improve.  My focus in ensuring that our children, working force, and elders have the resources to live happy, healthy lives, for generations.  Sgi!”

Chief Sneed carried five townships (Birdtown 321-294), Cherokee County (58-29), Painttown (152-128), Yellowhill (115-111), and Snowbird (70-60).  McCoy carried three including Big Cove (166-66), Big Y (49-46), and Wolftown (206-174).  Early voting was 102-77 in favor of Chief Sneed who edged McCoy in absentee votes (13-12).

Incumbent Vice Chief Alan B. Ensley topped the Vice Chief field with 1,089 followed by Jim Owle, former Tribal Council Chairman and current TCGE (Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise) chairman, with 551.

The EBCI Board of Elections did not have the voter turn-out percentages by press time on Tuesday morning.  The Board did relate that there would be a recount in the Painttown Tribal Council race.  The request was filed by Painttown Rep. Lisa Taylor (incumbent) who received 103 votes in the primary.  Dike Sneed received the most votes in Painttown with 169 followed by incumbent Painttown Rep. Tommye Saunooke with 151.  The bottom three candidates were each separated by a vote each with Cherie Bird Rose at 105, Pamela Sneed at 104, and Rep. Taylor at 103.  The Board of Elections had not definitively scheduled the recount by press time.

Following are unofficial results, per the Board of Elections, for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Primary Election held on Thursday, June 6 (candidate in bold advance to the General Election).  There was not a primary held in the Cherokee County – Snowbird Community nor for any of the Cherokee School Board seats.

Principal Chief

Teresa McCoy 1,132

Richie Sneed 1,117

Carroll “Peanut” Crowe 433

Gary R. Ledford 125

Phillip Ellington 54


Vice Chief

Alan B. Ensley 1,089

Jim Owle 551

Albert Martin 451

Terri Henry 255

Anita Welch Lossiah 216

James “Bud” Smith 121

Ben Parker 107

Frank Pete Taylor 75


Big Cove Tribal Council

Richard French 186

Perry Shell 164

Fred Penick 141

Renee Long Cole 100

Walter French 35


Birdtown Tribal Council

Boyd Owle 428

Albert Rose 375

Nelson Lambert 299

Ashley Sessions 183

Curtis Wildcatt 140

Alyne Stamper 88


Painttown Tribal Council

Dike Sneed 169

Tommye Saunooke 151

Cherie Bird Rose 105

Pam Sneed 104

Lisa Taylor 103


Wolftown Tribal Council

Bo Crowe 430

Bill Taylor 172

Nathaniel “Bunsey” Crowe 122

Chelsea Saunooke 118

Jeremy Wilson 105

Sam “Frell” Reed 101

Paula “Cricket” Brown Wojtkowski 88

Jess “Fonzie” Sneed 86

Tony Cabe 85

James David Jumper 47

Susan Toineeta (write-in) 15


Yellowhill Tribal Council

David T. Wolfe 223

Tom Wahnetah 166

Stephanie Saunooke French 76

Tawania Ensley 64

Rose Shell Maney 55