Frankie Myers, third from left, and Joe James, second from right, are the new vice chair and chair, respectively, of the Yurok Tribe. Photo: Frankie Myers

Yurok Tribe brings on new chairman and vice chairman

The Yurok Tribe has new leadership.

Joe James was sworn into office as the tribe's new chairman on October 20. He had secured 50 percent plus one of the vote during a primary on October 10.

Tribal citizens were less certain about the vice chair candidates. Sue Masten, a former chair of the tribe, and Frankie Myers both received the same number of votes -- 250 to be exact -- during the primary.

As a result, the two candidates were scheduled for a run-off. This time around, Myers emerged victorious with nearly 56 percent of the vote on Wednesday, according to unofficial results released by the election board.

"Thank you so much to all my supporters and voters. We did it!" Myers said in a post on Facebook early Thursday. Masten congratulated the winner after the conclusion of the race.

James and Myers had joined forces during the campaign in hopes of creating a united front. Tribal citizens said it was the first time they remembered a chair and vice chair candidate openly running together.

As chair, James succeeds Thomas O’Rourke, who served three terms in the tribe's highest office. O’Rourke is retiring from politics.

Former Yurok chairman Thomas O’Rourke, left, poses with Joe James, the new chair of the tribe. Photo: Yurok Tribe

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