BOSTON - Political ambitions are biting at Tex Hall, president of the
National Congress of American Indians and chairman of the Three Affiliated
Tribes of North Dakota.
At a Democratic Convention reception sponsored by the Democratic Senatorial
Campaign Committee, Hall confirmed that he has been approached by both
parties to seek state-wide office in North Dakota. Although he ruled out a
run this year, he told Indian Country Today he was seriously considering a
bid for Congress in 2006 or for the governorship in 2008.
"We'll see what comes up," he said.
Hall said a campaign would require raising at least a million dollars, a
factor that caused him to back out of a last-minute run this year. He also
said he was already "wearing two hats" with his duties at NCAI and as
But his NCAI term ends in 2005, he said, and he was "term-limited," so he
would have to sit out at least one cycle. His tribal chair term ends in
The main consideration would be the political opening, he said. The seat
for the U.S. House of Representatives comes up every two years, and the
next race for governor will be in 2008.
A major issue, said Hall, would be the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
management of the Missouri River. "When Lewis and Clark first saw it, it
was the most beautiful river in America," he said. Now people in his tribe
and state widely blame federal mismanagement for severe problems with water
Hall said he was encouraged to think of national politics when he stopped
at a gas station back home recently to fill up. "Some elders were sitting
around talking about the river and asked me to do something about it," he
said. He replied that the governor and congressional delegation were
working on it, and they answered, he said, "'You know more people than they
Hall said he was not sure yet which party nomination he would run for. "It
depends who asks me," he said.
Although Oklahoma State Senator and sculptor Kelley Haney ran for governor
of his state last election. Hall would probably be the first Native
candidate in the Northern Plains to seek a major-party nomination for
Governor, let alone take the office.