Election Day: #NativeVote18 races to watch across the nation
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
In Arkansas, a gaming initiative backed by the Cherokee Nation and the Quapaw Tribe was approved at the polls.
In Florida, the Seminole Tribe's gaming initiative was approved by an overwhelming number of voters.
In Idaho, a gaming initiative opposed by tribes was rejected by voters.
In Kansas, Sharice Davids, a Democrat, has won her race for U.S. Congress. She is a citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation.
In New Mexico, Democrat Deb Haaland sailed to victory in her bid for U.S. Congress. She hails from the Pueblo of Laguna. And with votes still being counted, Republican Yvette Herrell (Cherokee) is slightly ahead in her Congressional race.
In Minnesota, Democrat Peggy Flanagan won election as lieutenant governor. She is a citizen of the White Earth Nation.
In Oklahoma, Tom Cole (Chickasaw) and Markwayne Mullin (Cherokee) won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Both are Republicans.
Also in Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, who is Cherokee, became the first Native American elected as governor of the state.
Election Day is finally here and Native candidates across the nation are hoping to secure victory at the polls in what has become a landmark year for the Native vote.
“We are here making history. We must continue to hang on to hope," Miss Navajo Nation Autumn Montoya said at a Tuesday morning rally in support of Deb Haaland, who is poised to become one of the first Native women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
"We need Congress to hear our voice, to bring our unique view as Indigenous women to Congress," Montoya said in To’hajiilee, a community on the New Mexico portion of the Navajo Nation.
Here are the #NativeVote18 races to watch on November 6. You'll find information on candidates and campaigns in Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Washington, as well as where to find results as the polls close later in the day.
Debra Call, a Dena’ina Athabascan and former president of the Knik Tribe, is running for lieutenant governor of Alaska. She is on the Democratic ticket with gubernatorial candidate Mark Begich, a former U.S. Senator and former member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.
The Republican candidate for governor is Mike
Dunleavy, whose wife and children are Native. He is relative newcomer to state politics, having served in the Alaska Legislature between 2013 and 2017. He resigned to run for governor.
In other races to watch, Republican Don Young, whose late wife was Native and whose children and grandchildren are Native, is facing a strong challenge from Alyse Galvin, the Democratic candidate. Both participated in a debate at the recent Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage and both pledged to promote Native issues on Capitol Hill.
Alaska has one sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Young has held it since 1973, making him the longest-serving member of Congress.
About 16 percent of the population in Alaska is Native, and the Native vote has played a key role in prior elections.
Results:elections.alaska.gov, starting at 9pm Alaska time (1am Eastern).
The Seminole Tribe has spent a whopping $24.65 million on Amendment
3, a ballot initiative that would place restrictions on new non-Indian
gaming facilities. If approved, such proposals would be subject to a vote of the people.
Early returns from Florida Election Watch show a strong lead for Amendment 3, the ballot initiative bankrolled by the Seminole Tribe.
Early returns show the tribe's investment appears to have paid off with voters. As of 8:30pm Eastern, Amendment 3 had secured nearly 71 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results from Florida Election Watch.
Amendment 3 needs 60 percent of the vote to be considered approved. By 9pm, Voters in Charge, the group bankrolled by the tribe, was celebrating victory.
"By their overwhelming vote in support of Amendment 3, Florida voters have given the people, not the politicians and lobbyists, control over gambling," John Sawinski, the president of Voters in Charge, said in a statement. "Florida voters have kicked open the doors of Tallahassee's back rooms and demanded an end to gambling industry influence in the hallways of the capitol."
Results:floridaelectionwatch.gov, starting at 8pm Eastern.
Paulette Jordan on YouTube: Raised by Idaho
Jordan, a citizen of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, is
seeking to be the first woman elected as governor in the United States. She is the Democratic nominee and is up against Brad Little, a Republican with long ties to the party's establishment.
In other campaigns, tribes in the state are seeking to defeat a gaming initiative that's on the ballot as Proposition 1. Tribes believe the authorization of electronic machines that display the results of historical horse races violates the promises made in their Class III gaming compacts.
Results:idahovotes.gov, starting at 11pm Eastern time.
Davids, a citizen of the Ho-Chunk Nation, is seeking to make history. She's the Democratic nominee in the 3rd
Congressional District in Kansas and has out-polled and out-raised Kevin Yoder, the
Republican incumbent who has held the seat for
nearly a decade.
If Davids prevails, she could join Deb Haaland and Yvette Herrell as the first three Native women in Congress. Of the three, Haaland and Davids enjoy the strongest chances of success on November 6.
Early results from the Kansas Secretary of State showed that Davids indeed ran a strong campaign. She was already 10 points ahead of Yoder when the first tallies came in after the polls closed on Tuesday evening.
A couple of hours later, the outcome was clear. Davids became the first Native woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
"Sharice Davids' election is another giant step forward for women, LGBTQ women and women of color — not only does she instantly become a role model for millions, but she provides representation of these communities when we need it most," Stephanie Sandberg, the executive director of LPAC, told Indianz.Com after the historic vote.
LPAC is a political action committee that supports candidates like Davids, who is the first LGBTQ person to secure election in Kansas history. Sandberg was on the ground in the district on Election Day, calling on voters to support the former White House fellow and tribal economic development expert.
"As an organization dedicated to building the political power of LGBTQ women, we at LPAC couldn’t be more thrilled to have endorsed Sharice, and be here to help celebrate her win," Sandberg told Indianz.Com.
Later in the evening, Davids basked in her historic win. But she was quick to strike a tone of unity as she prepares to walk the halls of Congress in the nation's capital.
"It doesn't matter if you cast your vote for me or if you cast your vote for Kevin Yoder. Come January, I see every single person," Davids said at her victory party on Tuesday night. "I hear you and I see you, because the time for people to not be heard, and not be seen and not be listened to, or represented well, changes now."
Results:ent.sos.ks.gov, starting at 8pm Eastern.
Citizens of the Crow Tribe who gathered on November 1, 2018, to protest their chairman's endorsement of Republican politicians drew supporters of Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana), who is facing a tough re-election fight in Montana. Photos courtesy Donavon Hawk
I'm truly honored to be considered meme-worthy! But will the self-described "white lady from Albuquerque," Maggie Toulouse Oliver condemn her supporters calling an enrolled tribal member a bandit? Just another troubling instance of double standards regarding racism. #nmpolpic.twitter.com/QikvgB76zV
Before I got to the Senate, Native women weren’t always protected when crimes were committed on tribal lands. I fought to keep Native women safe in the renewed VAWA. That’s one of the successes I discussed in Belcourt this evening. pic.twitter.com/9J49cRfeIY
All eyes are on the Native vote in North Dakota after tribes and their advocates first won, then lost, then lost again, a challenge to the state's restrictive voter identification law. Tribes have since been working to ensure their citizens' votes will count at the polls on Tuesday.
The Native vote is seen as crucial for Democrat Heidi
Heitkamp in her bid to save her seat in the U.S. Senate.
She's been trailing Kevin Cramer, the Republican candidate and current member of the U.S. House, in a state where Donald Trump remains extremely popular.
Native candidates are also on the ballot. They include Ruth Buffalo, a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation who is the Democratic candidate for North Dakota House District 27, and Richard Marcellais, a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians who is the Democratic incumbent in Senate District 9.
Results:vote.nd.gov, starting at 8pm Eastern.
Oklahoma is home to 39 federally recognized tribes and the second-largest population of Native Americans. Yet it has never elected a Native American as governor.
Kevin Stitt, a citizen of the Cherokee
Nation, is hoping to change that. He's the Republican nominee for governor, up against Drew Edmondson, a Democrat with long ties to his party's establishment.
But Edmondson has a Native ally in his camp. Anastasia Pittman, a state lawmaker and citizen of the Seminole Nation, is his running mate and would be the first Native lieutenant governor in state history.
Everything we've worked for comes down to this moment. In five more minutes, polls will open. I need your vote today, and your support encouraging friends, family, and neighbors to vote as well. Let's go win this election! Polls are open 7AM-7PM. https://t.co/1acISQ07ECpic.twitter.com/ps52Peyk0V
Tribal leaders and activists have dedicated their time and resources to Initiative 1631 in hopes of addressing the impacts of climate change across the state. The Carbon Emissions Fee Measure would impose a fee on the large emitters of carbon, with the funds going to environmental programs.
Elsewhere, Republican Dino Rossi, who is Tlingit, is seeking to make history in Washington as the state's first Native person elected to Congress. He's running in the 8th Congressional District, an open seat near Seattle.
Results:sos.wa.gov/elections, starting at 11pm Eastern.