Catawba Nation elects first chief in over 30 years
Members of the Catawba Nation of South Carolina elected Donald Rodgers as their first chief on over 30 years.

Rodgers defeated three other candidates in Saturday's election. "It was almost symbolic because I feel like this is a new day for our people," the credit counselor told The Rock Hill Herald.

Rodgers succeeds Gilbert Blue, who led the tribe from 1973 until his resignation in March. Rodgers vowed to heal some of the divisions within the tribe, which won federal recognition and a land claims settlement through a special act of Congress in 1993.

Also elected on Saturday were Gene Blue as assistant chief and Jason Harris as secretary/treasurer. Melissa Funderburk, Butch Sanders, Leigh Anne Bickett and John Williford won four at-large council seats.

Tribal members voted down an amended constitution. The tribe hasn't updated its governing document since winning recognition.

Get the Story:
Catawbas elect Rodgers new chief (The Rock Hill Herald 7/23)
Catawba tribe anxiously awaits election results (The Rock Hill Herald 7/22)

Relevant Links:
Catawba Cultural Preservation Project -

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