When I arrived at the Osage News in March, I had no idea I would be walking into an election.
Since politics and elections are not my forte I thought, “Well I won’t be doing much with the election since I am the features reporter.” But boy was I wrong.
My first assignment with the election and the candidates was a video series we titled, “Candidate Talk.”
I remember my co-workers telling me that there were about 20 candidates that ran for the second Osage Nation Congress in 2010 and to expect a similar number this year. I thought, “No problem these videos will be a piece of cake.”
But then I got the news that 34 candidates had registered to run for the third Osage Nation Congress and my jaw dropped – I nearly fell out of my chair.
But the shock didn’t stop there. When I heard that there was a drawing for the candidate placement on the June ballot and for campsites it blew my mind.
I remember telling my co-worker Benny Polacca, “These Osages really take their election to another level huh?” He laughed and replied, “Uh-huh.”
This was a big shock to me mainly because my tribe’s elections are nothing like the Osage Nation’s. We are lucky if we get three people to run for a position and we certainly don’t have an area for candidates to set up camps on Election Day.
Speaking of Election Day, I seriously don’t know how you Osages handle this heat and humidity combo. I’m surprised I didn’t pass out and have to be taken to the hospital. I grew up in Arizona with triple digit temperatures being the norm, so heat I can deal with but the humidity … no thank you.
At one point, I could feel sweat dripping down my back (ugh) and my sunglasses kept sliding down my sweaty nose. And my only thought was, “This is only the beginning.”
And I certainly don’t know how candidates along with family and friends sat outside (all day) on Election Day. My hat is off to you.
Overall, this is an experience I will never forget and I am honored to have had the opportunity to be part of the election madness.