Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to vote Sunday, February 24

Tribal election rescheduled following Nemo
Cedric Cromwell celebrates his 2009 victory in the Mashpee Wampanoag tribal election. Will it be a repeat in 2013? Photo by David G. Curran.

The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Election Committee has announced that the Tribal Election will be held on Sunday, February 24 at Mashpee High School.

The election was originally scheduled for this past weekend, but was canceled when the Town of Mashpee closed all public buildings during the storm.

All enrolled members of the Tribe (18 and over) are encouraged to vote in the election.  Elders and disabled Tribal members may vote between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. All other Tribal members may vote between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

In this election, Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell will take on two opponents, David Pocknett and Richard Oakley. 

The Tribe has proposed a casino resort in Taunton.  Oakley has said he supports locating the Tribe's resort in Middleboro, another location considered by the Tribe. In 2007, in fact, the Tribe had reached a tentative agreement with Middleboro, but backed out to pursue a location in Taunton.

Some speculate that the outcome of this Tribal Election could change the location of the First Light Resort & Casino, which is still in a projected stage.  The Tribe is also awaiting approval of the site by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

Cromwell was elected as chairman of the Tribe in 2009 besting Putnam Peters and George "Chuckie" Green. He replaced the disgraced Glen Marshall who resigned from the position around the same time he pleaded guilty to federal embezzling, mail fraud and election finance charges.

The election is right on the heels of favorable news from the BIA. Earlier this week, Cromwell released a statement calling the "preliminary advisory opinion" received from the BIA "another huge step forward."


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