Poarch election makes history

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, June 9, 2010

For the first time in Poarch Tribal Council history there will be two runoffs for the secretary and treasurer positions on the Tribal Council.

The runoffs, which will take place on Sept. 4, feature incumbent David Gehman facing off against challenger William Lawrence Bailey for the secretary position, while Tribal Council member Robert McGhee will runoff against Amy Bryan as both seek to become the new Tribal Council treasurer.

Gia Johnson, Election Board Chair for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, said everything about Saturday’s elections went smooth.

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“Things went really good,” Johnson said. “We had a great turnout, and for the first time in our history we will have runoffs. Even with the runoff being new to us, everyone has been handling it really well, and we hope that we have another large turnout for that vote.”

A total of 1,054 General Council Members voted in Saturday’s elections with 709 coming out the day of the vote. There were 92 absentee ballots cast and 253 walk-in votes.

Eddie Leon Tullis won the lone at-large seat on the Tribal council beating out nine other opponents vying for the seat.

In other votes, Poarch Creek Indian voters passed all three constitutional amendments on the ballot.

Below are the results of the election:

In the race for secretary, David Gehman, 318; William Lawrence Bailey, 177; Kelli Ramer, 168; Carolyn M. White, 166; Sandra Smith, 123 and Dewitt Carter, 77.

In the race for treasurer, Robert McGhee, 379; Amy Bryan, 350; Edie Jackson, 225 and William L. Vickery, 76.

In the at-large vote, Eddie Leon Tullis, 282; Helen McGhee Hallman, 196; Debra Rolin Strickland, 181; Robert Thrower, 101; W.V. Williams, 98; Carrie Martin, 75; Valeria Barnhill Taylor, 47; Gil Caudle, 46; Douglas “Poncho” Kelley, 11 and Ernest Vickery (write-in), 4.

In the amendment votes, Amendment No. 1: Yes, 796 and No, 177; Amendment No. 2: Yes, 798 and No, 180 and Amendment No. 3: Yes, 578 and No, 393.

Tribal members of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians wait in line to cast their vote on the three open spots on the Tribal Council. | Photo by Chandler Myers