Tribal councilman chosen; runoff elections aheadPublished 8:58pm Saturday, June 1, 2013
Two runoffs and a new at-large tribal council member were the results of Saturday’s Poarch Band of Creek Indian tribal elections.
Replacing Tribal Councilman Eddie Tullis, who did not run for re-election, will be Kevin McGhee. According to Election Board Chairperson Edie Jackson, McGhee defeated eleven opponents, counting one write-in candidate, receiving 241 total votes to edge out his closest opponent, Gloria Sells Krafka, who received a total of 219 votes.
“I’m just excited and thankful for our supporters,” McGhee said. “I’m ready to get in there and do the job for the people.”
McGhee currently serves as the Entertainment Theater Manager for the soon-to-be-opened PCI entertainment complex.
For the seat of tribal secretary, incumbent David Gehman and challenger Tim Ramer will meet in a runoff election. Gehman received 413 total votes, while Ramer received a total of 333 votes.
Gehman, who was originally appointed to the office of secretary before becoming the first candidate directly elected to the post in 2010, said he is looking forward to the opportunity to use his experience with the tribe to continue to serve both PCI and the surrounding community.
“I absolutely appreciate the people coming out and voting,” Gehman said. “It’s an opportunity our people have to participate in the leadership of our tribe. It’s good and it’s ratifying to see our people respond.”
Gehman said he is optimistic about his chances in the runoff election, adding he will continue to campaign in order to reach more voters.
“I especially appreciate the people who voted for me,” he said. “For those who did not, I look forward to the opportunity to meet you and talk to you.”
Ramer also voiced his appreciation.
“I’m just very excited and very happy with the record number of people that turned out to vote,” Ramer said. “The tribal members are becoming more engaged in decisions that are being made and I would just like to thank all of those who supported me.”
Also in a runoff race, incumbent Robert McGhee and challenger Gia Langham will face one another for the office of tribal treasurer.
McGhee, who received 525 votes to Langham’s 179, said he appreciates all of the tribal members who came out to cast their ballots.
“The election board did a great job,” McGhee said. “There was a great turnout and I just hope that they turn out again in August.”
Langham, who serves as executive assistant with the PCI legal department, also expressed her thanks to the voters.
“I would like to just thank everyone that came out and voted and I’m looking forward to working hard on the campaign ahead of me,” she said. “I would like to also mention that we are urging tribal members to get out and exercise their right to vote in this runoff.”
Jackson said candidates running for office must receive 50 percent of the vote, plus one vote in order to win a seat. Jackson said 1289 total voters participated in Saturday’s election. Baring any kind of appeal, which may be filed only during the three days following an election, McGhee will be sworn in to office Thursday at 4p.m. during the PCI Tribal Council’s next meeting.
Voting for the two runoff elections will take place Saturday, Aug. 3.