Cherokee Election Commission Certifies Bill John Baker - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Cherokee Election Commission Certifies Bill John Baker As Principal Chief

Posted: Updated:
Inside, commission members huddled around a conference table and put their official signature on the on the tally sheets. Inside, commission members huddled around a conference table and put their official signature on the on the tally sheets.
Baker won the election with more than a 1,500 lead over incumbent Chad Smith. Baker won the election with more than a 1,500 lead over incumbent Chad Smith.
Baker supporters waited outside the election commission office. Baker supporters waited outside the election commission office.

Dan Bewley and Staff Reports, News On 6

TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -- The election of Bill John Baker as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation has been certified. The Cherokee Nation's election commission certified the results Wednesday.

Wednesday's announcement put Baker ahead of Smith by nearly 1,600 votes -- 10,703 to 9,128. Smith has five days to request a recount.

Baker supporters waited outside the election commission office. Inside, commission members huddled around a conference table and put their official signature on the on the tally sheets.

Bill John Baker will be the nation's next principal chief.

"This is probably the happiest day of my life," Baker said.

Despite the defeat Chad Smith received a warm ovation Tuesday night. He declined to talk with us on Wednesday but told his supporters he's proud of his accomplishments during his 12 year run as principal chief.

"From education and jobs and schools and such, I'm very thankful and fortunate and I've enjoyed my tenure as principal chief everyday representing the Cherokee people," Smith said Tuesday.

Supporters of Bill John Baker told us they're glad, after waiting for nearly three months, that this day has finally come.

"Excited, so excited for him to be our principal chief," said Lena Garcia, Cherokee Nation Member.

"I think we're going to go from good to great. I think it was well deserved. He beat him three times and it's a done deal...signed, sealed, and delivered," said Lois Hubler, Cherokee Nation Member.

Baker says it's time now to move on. He's confident tribal members will be able to look past what, at times, became a very negative campaign.

"Well we're family and, at the end of the day, families squabble and they fuss but in the grand scheme of things blood's thicker than water," Baker said.

Chad Smith has five days to appeal today's results, there's no word whether he is considering that option. Baker says he plans to be inaugurated as soon as the five days expire.

10/11/2011 Related Story: Unofficial Results: Baker Wins Cherokee Principal Chief Election

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.

Links

Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.