The Cherokee Nation Election Commission certified the election results from the Sept. 24 special election for principal chief. The official results show Bill John Baker received 10,703 votes and Chad Smith received 9,128 votes. Following a three-day counting process, the commission on Wednesday certified the results of the special election. The official results show Baker of Tahlequah received nearly 54 percent of the votes.
According to the tribe’s election law, a request for a recount must be made by 5 p.m. on Oct. 19. Any appeal with the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court challenging the validity of the election, must be made by 5 p.m. on Oct. 24.
Details for an inaugural ceremony to swear in Chief-Elect Baker have not yet been specified. Baker is a Tahlequah businessman who has served multiple terms as a representative on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council. He holds degrees in political science and history in education with minors in sociology and psychology.Baker was re-elected to a six-year term on the council in 2007 and his successful campaign for principal chief means that another special election will be held by the nation to fill his District 1, Seat 1 office. District 1 represents Cherokee County and the eastern portion of Wagoner County.
Timelines for that election will be announced soon, election commission officials said.