Election challenge is rebuffed

Rapid City, South Dakota (AP) 10-08

The tribal election commission has rejected a complaint seeking to remove state Sen. Theresa Two Bulls as a candidate for president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe at Pine Ridge.

Two Bulls and Russell Means received the most votes in the tribe’s primary. Means later challenged Two Bulls’ eligibility to run for tribal president on Nov. 4.

He cited tribal law that prohibits elected tribal officials from also holding state offices or serving on state or county boards.


Two Bulls, D-Pine Ridge, was elected to the South Dakota Legislature in 2004 and is seeking re-election to the District 27 Senate seat on the state general election ballot.

Tribal election commission chairman Sidney Witt said Two Bulls is aware of the conflict of interest. He said she told him that if elected to both offices she would not accept the Senate seat.

“(The tribal ordinance) doesn’t prohibit someone from running,” Witt said. “It just warns them that if they are successful, they can’t hold two offices.”

Witt said Means’ challenge also was filed past a deadline and was ultimately dismissed on that basis.

In the complaint, Means asked that Two Bulls be taken off the ballot. Had that happened, the third place vote-getter in the primary election, incumbent John Yellow Bird Steele, would have taken her place.

The election commission’s decision can be appealed to the Oglala Sioux Tribe Supreme Court, Witt said.

A recount confirmed that William Brewer and Alice Perkins will be on the ballot for tribal vice president. They received the most votes in the primary election. Tom Poor Bear asked for a recount after finishing eight votes behind Perkins in the primary.