Wampanoag Tribe elects chairman to second term

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) on November 21 returned Cheryl Andrews-Maltais of Edgartown to her job as chairman for another three-year term. The tribe held its annual general membership meeting and election on Sunday, November 21.

Ms. Maltais faced a challenge from supporters of the former chairman, Beverly Wright, who mounted a write-in campaign after Ms. Wright declined to submit nomination papers. Ms. Maltais, first elected in November 2007, received 105 votes to 40 votes for Ms. Wright.

The election for tribe secretary was a contest between longtime incumbent Eleanor Hebert and tribal planner Durwood “Woody” Vanderhoop. Mr. Vanderhoop won 96-58.

“Mrs. Hebert has served the tribal community in her capacity on tribal council for over 20 years,” Ms. Maltais said in an email to The Times. “We are grateful for all her contributions over those years and wish her a very well deserved break from the rigors of tribal council.”

There was a four-way race for two seats on the tribal council. Incumbent council member Naomi Carney was re-elected with 88 votes. Former council member Shelley Carter was re-elected with 68 votes, narrowly beating third place finisher Tyrone Lobo who received 66 votes. Corey Randolph, a write-in candidate, received 56 votes.

In other election news, incumbents Adriana Ignacio and Berta Welch ran unopposed and were re-elected to the Aquinnah Cultural Center board of directors with 131 and 140 votes respectively.

There were 158 ballots cast, according to Ms. Maltais. Information on the total number of voters was not available but, according to recent press reports, there are approximately 1,100 tribal members.

Council members will be sworn-in, at a tribal ceremony on Saturday, January 8, 2011.