Four Candidates Face Off for Principal Chief in Cherokee Nation Elections

News 6 - February 15, 2023 6:59 am

It’s a big year for the Cherokee Nation because they will hold elections for several offices, including Principal Chief.

The current Principal Chief, Chuck Hoskin Jr., has three challengers.

They are Cara Cowan Watts, David Cornsilk, and Wes Nofire.

Cowan Watts is the only woman running and she said one of her priorities is addressing the healthcare worker shortage.

She said she wants better education, health, and housing for the Cherokee people.

Cowan Watts hopes the Cherokee people choose to go back to having a woman in power.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had female leadership so I think uniquely, after 12 years of what we’ve received under the men, I think it’s time to look inward at our Cherokee people, which women in Cherokee Nation tend to do,” said Cowan Watts.

Wes Nofire, who most recently ran for U.S. House of Representatives District 2, said he wants to hold the Cherokee government accountable for the money it gets and spends.

He said he wants to get answers for the Cherokee people on where money given to the government has gone.

“One thing whenever I’m elected Chief is I’m going to audit the Cherokee Nation books and bring accountability back to the Cherokee Nation people,” said Nofire.

David Cornsilk is a retired genealogist.

He said his main goal is to give the Cherokee people more power when it comes to healthcare, owning houses, and fixing the tribal court system.

“Returning the Cherokee Nation to the Cherokee people will be a priority of the Chief Cornsilk administration,” said Cornsilk.

Chuck Hoskin Jr., the incumbent, said his administration has tackled several challenges, including working to preserve the Cherokee language.

Some of his other priorities are building hospitals, solving the drug crisis, and getting more Cherokee citizens job training.

He said he deserves four more years to continue this work.

“When it comes to tribal sovereignty, language and culture, I don’t think any two leaders in Cherokee history have faced what we’ve faced, and I think we’ve passed the test every time,” said Hoskin.

All four of the candidates filed for the election, but they will not become official candidates until they go through a certification process before the end of the month.

The election for all the open positions in the Cherokee Nation government will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023.

Four Candidates Face Off For Principal Chief In Cherokee Nation Elections

For more information on each of the candidates, you can visit their Facebook campaign pages.

Chuck Hoskin, Jr:

Cara Cowan Watts:

David Cornsilk:

Wes Nofire:


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