TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- Incumbent David Walkingstick defeated four challengers for the Cherokee Nation's Dist. 3 Tribal Council seat in the June 27 general election.
Walkingstick garnered 686 votes for 54.1 percent of the total ballots cast, according to the Cherokee Nation Election Commission's certified results.
Those results also listed Kathy Poor Kilpatrick as Walkingstick's closest competitor at 25.16 percent with 319 votes, while Larry Pritchett finished third at 12.22 percent with 155 votes. Brian Berry followed at 7.33 percent with 93 votes, and Brandon Girty rounded out the candidates at 1.18 percent with 15 votes.
"It feels really humbling that people have confidence in my leadership, but I also have a lot of respect for the other candidates," Walkingstick said. "It's exciting to see qualified candidates come out and want to be a part of these exciting times for the Cherokee Nation."
Walkingstick indicated the campaign was hard won, but beneficial in terms of moving forward.
"I met a lot of good people along the way and I got to see my constituents in their environments and their lifestyles," he said. "I worked harder this time than what I did last time, and I think it was because of the potential I see that the Cherokee Nation has to help people. I care so much for the Cherokee people and I know I'm the guy that's going to deliver."
Walkingstick said he's already looking to get back to work, indicating a desire to continue finalizing the $60 million dollar Indian Health Service Joint Venture Construction Program project announced in January. He also said he wants to increase scholarship amounts for students, as well as seek out grants to build storm shelters and install storm sirens in rural communities.
"We have so many unfinished projects that are going to not only benefit our generation, but generations to come," he said. "I'm lucky to be elected four more years to finish out those projects. God has blessed the Cherokee Nation, and I'm honored to be a part of that."
Dist. 3 covers the southern portion of Cherokee County.
The EC met on June 29 to certify the general election results.
Walkingstick will be sworn into office on Aug. 14, the tribe's inauguration day.