Choctaw chief strikes out at leading opponent

Phillip Martin, the chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, is stepping up his re-election campaign after nearly losing the vote to Beasley Denson.

Martin is running for his eighth term in office. But last month, he lost to Denson by 37 votes, prompting a run-off to determine who will control the tribe.

Martin has never faced a run-off. This week, he mailed every Choctaw voter a letter that claims Denson is being funded by anti-casino groups.

Denson denied the charge, noting he is using his own money, along with donations from supporters, to run his campaign. "I'm going for broke, I guess," he told The Biloxi Sun-Herald.

Martin has faced scrutiny over his ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his proposal to build an off-reservation casino in the Gulf Coast. He claims opponents of the casino are donating to Denson.

Get the Story:
Chief Martin: Casino foes backing my opponent (The Biloxi Sun-Herald 6/21)

Relevant Links:
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians -

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