Cherokee Nation chief Smith announces re-election bid

Tulsa, Oklahoma (AP) September 2010

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith will be seeking another term.

Smith announced his re-election bid Sept. 2 at a news conference in Tulsa and also introduced his running mate, Charlie Soap, the stepson of the late former Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller. If elected, Soap would succeed Deputy Chief Joe Grayson, who isn't running for another term.

Smith says the tribe has come a long way since he first took office 11 years ago. He says the tribe is creating jobs in local communities and is keeping its culture strong.

Tribal Councilor Bill Baker and tribal member John Cornsilk also have announced their candidacies. The general election is set for June 25.

The Cherokee Nation is one of the nation's largest Native American tribes, with a membership of about 290,000.