Incumbent Not Afraid, newcomers Black Eagle and Whiteman advance in Crow primary

Luella N. Brien
Sunday, October 11, 2020
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Shawn Backbone, secretary candidate running with the "Rebuilding and Restoring the Apsaalooke Nation," slate sits near the campfire at his campaign encampment with supporters to stay warm as the morning temperature at 8 a.m. hovered near 45 degrees. Backbone went on to earn the most votes in the secretary race and moves to the Nov. 7 general election.
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Reno District Legislator and chairman candidate Lloyd Hogan III throws a bag of trash in his pickup truck about 9 a.m. Sunday in Crow Agency. Hogan and his running mates, Jacob Stops and John Cummins III spent the morning cleaning the Crow Fair powwow arbor where their primary election campaign encampment was located on Saturday night.
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Incumbent Chairman Alvin "A.J." Not Afraid greets a supporter who joined him and other members of the "Crow Lives Matter" campaign around a campfire Sunday morning. The running mates waited nearly two more hours before the results were released about 11:15 a.m.
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Running mates on "The New Era" campaign slate candidate Isaiah Hugs (left to right), chairman candidate Arthur T. Alden Jr., vice-secretary candidate Channis D. Whiteman and vice-chairman candidate Kenneth Brien Enemy Hunter helped with early morning clean up duty while they waited for the release of election results.
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Over 3,000 ballots were cast in the Crow Tribal primary election Saturday, sending incumbent Alvin "A.J." Not Afraid to the general election in November with 776 votes to face off against Frank White Clay who pulled in 654 votes.

Fourteen candidates entered the race and split 3,089 votes. White Clay, a Black Lodge District legislative representative and one-time speaker of the house, was first elected in 2015.

Former Reno District Legislator Paul J. Hill, 720, and three-term Arrow Creek Legislator Lawrence DeCrane, 717, were the top two vote getters in the vice-chairman race against six other candidates.

Former Reno legislator and Tribal Secretary Shawn Backbone earned 676 votes in the secretary race. Teacher and political newcomer Levi Black Eagle garnered 612 votes against Backbone and five other candidates.

Five candidates ran for the vice-secretary seat. Top vote getter Channis D. Whiteman, 553, works as a heavy equipment operator at an area mine, the second place candidate, Yvon Little Light Medicine Tail Jr. was elected as a Reno District legislator in 2019. He earned 638 votes.

Though the polls closed Saturday night, Crow tribal members and executive branch candidates waited for Saturday's primary election results until after 11 a.m., when the Office of the Secretary posted the unofficial results. The resulted were signed with a time stamp of 10:20 a.m.

Over 15 hours after the doors at the Crow Agency polling location were closed several candidates and their campaign encampments remained vigilant as they waited for final polling numbers

According to the Crow Tribe's Conduct of Elections procedure, listed as article 8, section 10 in the tribe's Election Ordinance of the Law & Order Code, the Election Commission will start counting ballots at 11 p.m. until all the ballots are counted. After the polls close at 8 p.m., the ballot box from the disabled and elderly voters' poll station is brought in for counting.

The election ordinance was initially approved with the Crow Tribe's 2001 constitution and was amended in July 2005, before the tribe had access to voting machines.

The ordinance outlines a multiple-step hand counting process for ballots, therefore, legally, the election commission is required to hand count ballots before posting unofficial results outside the polling place.

The top two candidates in each race will face off in the Nov. 7 general election. 

Executive Branch Primary Election

Unofficial Results



***776 - Alvin "A.J." Not Afraid

***654 - Frank White Clay

353 - Carlson "Duke" Goes Ahead

262 - Lloyd Hogan III

250 - Arthur T. Alden Jr. 

203 - Henry Rides Horse Jr. 

155 - Vianna Stewart

138 - Taylor Real Bird

96 - Michelle Caneda Wilson

74 - Leroy Not Afraid

53 - Clara Hugs

40 - Kenneth Deputee Sr.

23 - Cordell J. Stewart

12 - Joseph Bad Bear



***720 - Paul J. Hill

***717 - Lawrence DeCrane

439 - Conrad “C.J.” Stewart

284 - Wade Driftwood

268 - Melva G. Iron

263 - Kenneth (Brien) Enemy Hunter

207 - John Cummins

183 - Richard White Clay Sr.



***676 - Shawn Backbone

***612 - Levi Black Eagle

484 - Kenneth “Ken” Deputee Jr.

389 - Pat Alden Jr.

347 - Jacob L. Stops

282 - Victoria Jeannie Pretty Paint

266 - Isaiah Hugs



***653 - Channis D. Whiteman

***638 - Yvon Little Light Medicine Tail Jr.

615 - Dylan Jefferson

615 - McKinley Tye Backbone

508 - Tyson Gros Ventre