UPDATED: Lay, Patzkowski in runoff for Dist. 12 seat
Dora L. Smith Patzkowski
TAHLEQUAH – Four candidates were seeking the Dist. 12 tribal council seat held by Dick Lay, who will term out on Aug. 14 and was running for the office of principal chief.
Emerging from the field were Dora L. Smith Patzkowski, who received 215 votes or 32.92 percent, and Phyllis Lay, wife of Dick Lay, who got 197 votes, or 30.17 percent. Those tallies include the challenged ballots from within the district.
Patzkowski expressed a degree of astonishment at the results of the balloting.
“I really am surprised, and I really didn’t expect this,” she said. “I am looking forward to the runoff. I appreciate the support of the voters, and would certainly appreciate it again. I will definitely need it again.”
Phyllis Lay said she appreciates her family, friends and supports.
“I would like to say thank you to my family, to friends and to supporters. They have all been great and I appreciate their support in my getting to a runoff race for District 12,” she said. “So many great things have taken place for Cherokee citizens in District 12 in recent years, and I would like to continue the opportunity of building Cherokee involvement in our communities, working with youth and elders and increasing the overall health of citizens and our district. I appreciate the opportunity to run for office and to serve the Cherokee citizens. I will continue a campaign that is accountable and transparent.”
The other candidates polled well enough to earn double-digit percentages of the balloting. Todd M. Branstetter finished with 150 votes and 22.97 percent, while Don Scott received 91 votes, or 13.94 percent.
Runoff elections are July 27. For all the June 1 races, recount requests must be received by June 5, and any recount must be completed by June 7. The deadline for appeals is June 10. Requests for absentee ballots in runoff races must be received by June 17. Absentee ballots will be mailed June 24-25. Walk-in or early absentee voting will be offered at the Election Commission Office on July 20 and 23-25.