Mashpee Wampanoag tribal chairman re-electedAP , Associated Press
Feb. 25, 2013 12:23 PM ET
MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) — Incumbent Mashpee Wampanoag tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell has won a second four-year term, but his victory did not come without controversy.
Cromwell earned 442 votes in the tribal election on Sunday, 200 votes more than runner-up David Pocknett.
The 47-year-old Cromwell served six years on the tribal council before being elected chairman. He has led the tribe as it navigates the state and federal process in its goal of opening a casino in Taunton.
"This is a huge affirmation of what we as a tribal nation have accomplished as well as our vision for the future," Cromwell said in a statement. "I thank the citizens of the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe for the trust they have placed in me, and I look forward to working with them hand in hand over the next four years as we continue moving our tribe forward."
Jessie "Little Doe" Baird upset incumbent Vice Chairman Aaron Tobey, 362 votes to 319.
A lawyer and supporters of the third place candidate, Richard Oakley, say they will ask for a recount.
Oakley got 23 votes according to the official tally, but supporter Gayle Andrews said she knows of many more people who voted for him.
The tribe received federal recognition in 2007 after more than three decades of petitioning the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
That bureau is currently evaluating the tribe's application to take land in Taunton into trust to establish a reservation, which would allow casino construction.
Seventeen candidates ran for five council positions.
A tribal spokeswoman says more than 700 members voted, about 100 more than the prior election.
Information from: Cape Cod (Mass.) Times, http://www.capecodonline.com