Indian candidates take the next step in politics

As political awareness in Indian Country grows, Natives are taking the next step and running for political office at the local or state level.

"You need to run for every city, county local government office there is. They have to get used to us. Every time they turn around, we're there," says Mary Andreas, the former chairwoman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians who is running for the California Assembly.

If elected, Andreas would be the first Native elected to the state legislature. In Montana, that's already happened. The state legislature has seven Indians -- four of them are women.

In Washington, Yvette Joseph, a member of the Colville Tribes, a former Senate staffer and former executive director of the National Indian Health Board, hopes to become the second Indian lawmaker. John McCoy, a Tulalip tribal member, is currently running for re-election.

Alaska and New Mexico also have several Native lawmakers in office.

Get the Story:
Election '04: Natives trying to make a difference at the state level (Lee Enterprises 10/23)
Two views for 80th Assembly district (The Palm Springs Desert Sun 10/23)
Poplar lawmaker aims for Senate (The Great Falls Tribune 10/25)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave Lee - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave