Recount Done, Martin Concedes Defeat

Choctaw election officials began the official recount Wednesday night and wrapped things up Thursday morning. The final results show that seven time incumbent Chief Phillip Martin has been defeated by his challenger Beasley Denson by 211 votes with Denson receiving 1,697 votes to Martin's 1,486.

Election officials say they plan to certify the votes Friday. As for current Chief Phillip Martin, we were able to catch up with him Thursday morning as he was leaving the tribal hall where the recount took place. Here's what he had to say about the outcome.

"I'm disappointed that I didn't win but that's O.K. That's life! The election process has worked," said Martin. " The people have decided who they want as their leader and that's enough. "

Incoming Chief Denson was not at the Tribal Hall Thursday morning when we arrived for the recount. However, we are told that he spent much of the day preparing for his new position and just relaxing. A swearing in ceremony is set for next Tuesday.


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  • by Why be insensitive Location: Choctaw on Jul 9, 2007 at 08:44 PM
    Talk about insensitive. I am appalled at how WTOK can ask such a question as "Will the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians thrive under new Chief Beasley Denson?" There are some people who are upset at the defeat of their former leader and families who have broken ties due to political hardship. Solidarity, peace, and harmony have yet to take place and this is up for debate (POLL)? Our choctaw people are left questionable at what is at stake for the future of our people and the tribe. We don't know what our future holds only Chi-ho-wa does. In case you forgot, no one has or had been able to take on this Chief position since former Chief Martin for over 20 years and I am intentionally excluding Greenwood Leflore and Calvin Gibson. Changes take time. There is a lot to be done and things will not get better over night. What we should focus on are times for healing of friendship and reuniting families. We have to be patient and keep on living life to the fullest. The question to be debated is "Do we believe in ourselves to move forward together?"
  • by true chahta girl Location: native land on Jul 9, 2007 at 01:56 PM
    congrat!!to our new chief-beasley denson-.we knew it could be done. thank you to all who voted for beasley!!!
  • by Marsha B Location: philadelphia on Jul 9, 2007 at 07:06 AM
    I know I can't speak for all Chata's however, most of us are not racially motivated. We are only tired of the non-indians who have had there hands in the cookie jar and promoted themselves to high paying positions within the tribe. When all the while there have been several Chata's more than suitable to fill those positions. We are only seeking what rightfully belongs to the Chata people. We have lost respect for one another in the midst of previous political games played by Chief Martin's administration. For people on the outside looking in the Cheif Martin painted a picture of a glorius tribe, united and content. They do not realize the struggles people have endured simply because they were not Martin supporters. I will not argue that Chief Martin has brought much success to the tribe but success also comes with shame. Hence, the Jack Abramoff scandal!! Millions of dollars were lost because Martin believed he was above the law. As far as voting Martin back in, I believe Martin has done all he can do for the tribe. Thats the beauty of democracy, if it doesnt work the first time, try to change it the next. I sincerely believe in Miko Denson, (Miko meaning Chief-as it is in the Chata Language)but the tribe cannot function without its people. We need to come together and put our differences aside. The tribe can only be as good as the people make it!!!
  • by day-day Location: phila. on Jul 8, 2007 at 08:32 PM
    Mr. martin made alot of good progress for the people, but the commets about the non choctaw people arent really fair because the choctaw people are the ones who kept on voting him in office
  • by Julia Davis-Wheeler Location: Lapwai, IDAHO on Jul 8, 2007 at 07:55 PM
    Having met Chief Martin during my tenure as Tribal Councilwoman for the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho I was "impressed with his statue and professionalism" as a tribal leader. I was in his shoe's a couple of years ago (a defeated tribal leader), I felt bad but knew in my heart the people will learn if they voted right or wrong. In time, it will come to the surface. The people of the Choctaw Nation need to give Phillip Martin his due credit and hold him up and respect him. If his predessesor does not to as well or a good as he did,..the people will vote Phillip Martin back onto the Tribal Council. I know, I am back on the Tribal Council once again and have a totally different outlook than I did when serving before. My thoughts and prayer's are with Phillip Martin, I will him well during his "vacarion". Julia Davis-Wheeler
  • by Time will Tell Location: Choctaw on Jul 8, 2007 at 10:15 AM
    After twenty-one years of trying to become chief, he succeeded. It all started in 1986 when Beasley being "groomed to be the next Chief" introduced a Resolution to attempt Martin to retire with a "Golden Parachute Plan" which would have given percentage of all tribal enterprise profits for life in order to run for Beasley to run for chief in 1987, the CHATAS did not agreed to Beasley's resolution. Beasley then was ousted from the tribal council by his commmunity in 1989. In 1991, 1995 & 1999 (except 2003 when Beasley supported Martin) Beasley ran against Martin with each loss, Martin still placed Beasley into several high-paying jobs, including Martin's support to back Beasley into the tribal council in 1997. In other tribal nations, Beasley would have been ousted, hung-out dry and no jobs would have been given. This story tells it all, the heart of great Chief who did not attack his opponent, but to embrace him for inclusion. Maybe all Beasley supporters will read this and realize that Beasley was taken care of by Martin all these years, just as they were taken care of at one time or another, just think about it.
  • by so misled and confused Location: philadelphia on Jul 8, 2007 at 03:55 AM
    If some want all non-indians off reservation, it would be a sad day because everything would shutdown without their money including didtribution checks. If all non-indians are replaced, maybe all other businesses in the area will replace their indian employees with those workers. It sounds like many of the comments coming from the reservation are about as racist as they can get. By the way your new chief had a white election manager as shown on the news after the election. He really was putting choctaw first wasn't he.
  • by Eyes wide shut Location: Choctaw on Jul 7, 2007 at 02:05 PM
    Long live the King...God help us all!
  • by ndn Location: choctaw on Jul 7, 2007 at 06:07 AM
    congrats to beasley.choctaws that do have education still leaves ms.for better paying jobs cuz chief doesnt like his own skin color of his people.why pay non ndns 90,000 a year without a college degree hmmm.well we as choctaws are fixin to take back what is ours.and to the nahollos it was good while it lasted rite.its a sad day for the non ndns not the choctaws we made our choice and we stick by it.to all who voted for beasley we took a stand and opened our eyes and realized that we need a choctaw for choctaws not a choctaw for non ndns.
  • by concerned native Location: choctaw on Jul 6, 2007 at 10:29 PM
    As much as I would like to believe Beasley will make a "change," exactly, what changes has he promised other than higher distribution rates? If anything, that's all this past election has been about...money, money, and more money! What I want to know is how does some former car salesman go from a low status Choctaw citizen to the next leader of our Tribe? Where did he get the compensation to run his campaign? For all of his supporters, they do not realize how much their votes have jeopordized our future. With the promises he's made about higher paying jobs, better health care, and good housing, I hope they know it's not all going to happen tomorrow. Maybe, if they would just go out and GET AN EDUCATION like they're supposed to, they wouldn't be complaining about where they stand now. In other words, laziness and drunkiness has most of our tribal members tied down!
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