Rickey Armstrong, Sr., a two-time former Seneca Nation President and current Seneca Nation Treasurer, was elected as the Nation’s next President in voting today on the Seneca Nation’s Allegany and Cattaraugus Territories. Armstrong received 1,108 votes, leading a Seneca Party sweep of all races on the general election ballot.
“I am humbled by and grateful for the support and trust the Seneca people have shown in choosing me to lead our Nation. I will work every day to honor their trust,” Armstrong said. “As President, I will focus on the issues and opportunities that will define our future and shape the quality of life on our territories, from dealings with outside governments to advancing important economic development initiatives. Defending our sovereignty and securing the long-term strength and prosperity of our Nation and our future generations will always be our priority.”
Armstrong will be officially sworn-in for his two-year term next week. He previously served as President from 2002-2004, when the Nation opened its first two gaming operations – Seneca Niagara Casino in 2002 and Seneca Allegany Casino in 2004 – and again from 2018-2020, leading the Nation through the first several months of the coronavirus pandemic. He has served as Seneca Nation Treasurer since 2020, and has also served multiple terms on the Seneca Nation Council.
Matthew Pagels, the current Seneca Nation President, was elected Seneca Nation Treasurer, the office he held from 2018-2020 prior to his election as President. He received 1,081 votes. Bethany Johnson (1,104 votes) was elected Seneca Nation Clerk. Each will serve a two-year term.
“Serving the Seneca people is a tremendous honor,” said Pagels. “I look forward to working with all members of Council, Clerk Johnson and President Armstrong in continuing to advance the interests of our people and our Nation.”
In addition to the Nation’s three Executive offices, voters also elected eight people to serve four-year terms on the 16-person Seneca Nation Council.
Incumbent Councillors Tina Abrams (1,031 votes) and Josh Jimerson (1,039 votes), along with former Seneca Nation President Maurice John, Sr. (1,072 votes), and Odie Porter (1,056 votes) were elected from the Allegany Territory. Incoming Councillors from the Cattaraugus Territory are Jeff Gill (1,026 votes), Geraldine “Bird” Huff (1,066 votes), current Seneca Nation Clerk Marta Kettle (1,022 votes), and J.C. Seneca (1,030 votes).
The newly elected and re-elected Councillors will join the eight incumbent Councillors, whose terms expire in 2024. They are: Joshua Becker, Arlene Bova, Al E. George, and Timothy Waterman from the Allegany Territory; and Eliot Jimerson, Lisa Maybee, Presley Redeye, and Keith White, Sr. from the Cattaraugus Territory.