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Smith To Be in Familiar Company at Vote Hearing (Jul 06, 2011)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — When Chief Chad Smith enters the Cherokee Supreme Courthouse on Friday to argue his case for a new tribal election, he'll find himself in familiar company.

All five Supreme Court justices have either been appointed or re-appointed by Smith during his 12-year tenure as chief of the 300,000-member tribe based in Tahlequah.

A recount last week determined longtime councilman Bill John Baker had defeated Smith by 266 votes in the June 25 election, but Smith wants another recount and has filed appeals with the Cherokee Supreme Court.

The election was very close, with Baker first declared the winner by 11 votes, and then Smith announced as the winner by seven before the recount threw the election back to Baker.

The Cherokee Nation's Supreme Court set arguments for Friday.

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