(SD)-Bear Ruuner And Zephier Top OST Presidential Primary
PINE RIDGE, S.D. (AP) - Two newcomers to Oglala Sioux presidential politics were the winners in Tuesday's tribal primary election. Either Julian Bear Runner or Richard Zephier will succeed Troy "Scott" Weston,who did not seek reelection to a second term.
Bear Runner topped the 7 candidate field in the primary with 772 to votes while Zephier also advanced to the Nov 6th ballot with the second-highest total of 572.
Bear Runner is an Army veteran who has worked in law enforcement and emergency medical services while Zephier has a PhD in educational administration and worked for the BIA, the Indian Health Service, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe.
Both men are opposed to oil pipelines crossing tribal lands. Bear Runner took part in the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline and Zephier says he supports the coming battle against the Keystone XL pipeline.
Two former OST presidents finished 3rd and 4th. Teresa "Huck" Two Bulls, who elected to one term in 2008, received 483 votes while John Yellowbird Steele, the longest serving OST president with 7 non-consecutive terms, got 432. Steele lost to Weston two years ago.
Next month's tribal vice-president race will be a rematch of the 2016 vote between Darla Black and Tom Poor Bear. Black upset Poor Bear, the incumbent, that time and was the top votegetter in the primary with 679 to Poor Bear's 521.
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