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Ex-Okla. Tribe Chief Wins Council Seat Election (Jan 16, 2012)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) - A former Cherokee Nation principal chief has been elected to the Tribal Council.

Unofficial results show Joe Byrd on Saturday won the District 1 seat that was vacated when Principal Chief Bill John Baker took office in October. According to the tribe's website, Byrd will serve the remainder of Baker's term that expires in August 2013.

Byrd served as Cherokee chief from 1995 to 1999, when he was unseated by Chad Smith.

Byrd received 1189, or 65.8 percent, of the more than 1,800 votes cast over the weekend. Pam Iron finished second with 431 votes; Raymond Vann was third with 106; Geneva Reves was fourth with 48 and Brandon Girty had 32.

District 1 includes Cherokee and eastern Wagoner counties.

The Cherokee Election Commission will certify the results Tuesday.


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