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

Luella N. Brien
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Incumbent Not Afraid, newcomers Black Eagle and Whiteman advance in Crow primary
Photo by Luella N. Brien
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.

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 chairman’s race and split 3,089 votes. White Clay is in the middle of his second term as a Black Lodge District legislative representative. He is a one-time speaker of the house and 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 Yvon Little Light Medicine Tail Jr. was elected as a Reno District legislator in 2019. He earned 638 votes.

The second place candidate, Channis D. Whiteman, 553, works as a heavy equipment operator at an area mine.

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
*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