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Press Release

Release Date: October 02, 2007

by Tony Choate

ADA, Okla. - A crowd of more than 200 witnessed the inauguration of Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby Monday, Oct. 1 at the Chickasaw Community Center.

Chickasaw Nation Chief Justice Barbara Smith administered the oath of office to Gov. Anoatubby, Lt. Gov. Jefferson Keel, tribal Supreme Court justice Mark Holmes Colbert, tribal legislators Timothy Colbert, Mary Jo Green, Linda Briggs and Beth Alexander and four tribal legislators.

The inauguration of Gov. Anoatubby marks the beginning of his unprecedented sixth consecutive term of office.
"Our tribe has had a tremendous amount of success since our resurgence in the 1970s," said Gov. Anoatubby. "We, as a group, are thriving. We are building a nation together."

Incumbent Governor Bill Anoatubby and Lt. Governor Jefferson Keel were unopposed in their reelection bid.
This marked the first time a team running for the top elected positions in the Chickasaw government drew no opposition.

"I don't take that lightly," said Gov. Anoatubby, of the fact that he and Lt. Gov Keel drew no opposition. He then went on to express appreciation to the Chickasaw people for the confidence and support they have shown in his administration.

Gov. Anoatubby also said other elected officials are grateful for the suggestions and requests of Chickasaw citizens. He said the requests are helpful and demonstrate the fact that Chickasaw truly care for one another.

Looking to the future, Gov. Anoatubby said the tribe is working to improve communications with Chickasaw citizens and provide more personal service.

He added that the Chickasaw Nation continues to work on building stronger relationships with state and local governments, educational institutions and other partners.

All the elected officials are incumbents who retained their offices in the July 31 tribal election.

"Our three separate branches of government have different responsibilities, but we are ultimately working together toward the shared mission of improving the lives of our people," said Gov. Anoatubby.

Election Commissioner Jerry D. Malaney presented certificates to each of the elected officials.

Lona Barrick, administrator of the Division of Arts and Humanities served as master of ceremonies.

Musicians Ben Barrick, Rudy Lupinski, Chaz Isom and Ryan Fowler performed a medley of songs which included "Lord Lift Us Up (Where We Belong)."

Mr. Barrick and Mr. Lupinski played the song 20 years previously during the first inauguration of Gov. Anoatubby in 1987.