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Osage Election Board draws for candidate placement on June ballots

All candidates are certified and will be placed on the ballot in the order they were drawn
Shannon Lockett, vice chairperson of the Osage Election Board, reads off the names for the official ballot placement for the June 4 election. Photo by Shannon Shaw/Osage News

The Osage Nation Election Office has certified all candidates seeking office for the Third Osage Nation Congress and has drawn names and made it official as to the order those candidates will appear on the ballot.

More than 20 candidates attended the drawing, which took place at the Wah Zha Zhi Cultural Center at 9 a.m. April 12. All 34-candidate names were put in a hopper and selected one at a time by the election board.

The official candidate ballot listing on Election Day, June 4:

1)    John Jech

2)    RJ Walker

3)    Berbon Hamilton

4)    Justin Mays

5)    Anthony Shackelford

6)    Candy Thomas

7)    Nicki Revard Lorenzo

8)    Linda Lazelle

9)    Bill Mashunkashey

10)Matthew Shunkamolah

11)Cecelia Tallchief

12)Shannon Edwards

13)Jenny Miller

14)Becky Johnson

15)John Maker

16)Joseph Roger Lynn

17)Jerri Jean Branstetter

18)Angela Marie Pratt

19)Amanda Proctor

20)Shane Rencountre

21)Jozi Tall Chief

22)Olivia Gray

23)Mark Simms

24)Joe Mashunkashey

25)Roscoe Mays

26)Archie Mason

27)Carl Sellers

28)Hank Hainzinger

29)Rosemary Shaw

30)Teresa Hudgins

31)Jim Ryan

32)Jacque Jones

33)Kathryn Red Corn

34)Maria Whitehorn

The candidate drawing started out in a solemn and serious tone April 12, but ended after election board staff goofed and forgot to include Cecelia Tallchief’s name in the hopper, causing the selection to start over.

There was a collective groan when staff announced the process would begin again after realizing the mistake at candidate 31.

Candidates moaned and groaned, while others laughed at the snafu.

“Cecelia’s always causing trouble!” a candidate joked while others laughed. Another candidate did a fist-pump and said, “Yes!” as they walked by, clearly happy that they would have another shot at a different placement on the ballot. Another candidate on their way to get coffee rolled their eyes and said, “You gotta be kidding me.”

After the second drawing was completed the Osage News asked candidate RJ Walker if he felt a candidate’s chances greatened when their name was placed high on the ballot. Walker is number two on the ballot.

“I’ve thought about that and with six candidates even if you get later [placed low] on the ballot, people are going to vote for who they’re going to vote for,” Walker said. “To be quite honest I don’t know if placement matters.”

Maria Whitehorn, who is number 34 on the ballot, said she is delighted she was picked last.

“I love being last on the ballot,” she said. “Go down first thing and mark the last one, I love that.”