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Cherokee Nation tribal councilor candidates headed to runoff after court-reviewed recount

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TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma — A recount supervised by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court has finalized the candidates in a runoff election.

The Cherokee Nation Election Commission on Friday announced the results of the Thursday recount, with Wanda Hatfield and Betsy Swimmer advancing to a July 25 runoff for an at-large tribal councilor position. The final results show Hatfield with 1,057 votes and Swimmer with 763.

Shane Jett, who came in third, finished 50 votes behind Swimmer. The general election results were certified Monday and Jett requested the recount on Wednesday.

A candidate has to receive more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff.

The Cherokee Nation is one of the largest American Indian tribes, with about 320,000 citizens and a budget nearing $1 billion.

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