Pagels elected Seneca Nation President as Seneca Party sweeps

Reprinted from the Salamanca Press. November 3, 2020

Photo: Canvass Day 2020. Matthew Pagels sworn in as President by Marta Kettle, SNI Clerk.

IRVING — Matt Pagels was elected the next president of the Seneca Nation following Tuesday’s vote on the Allegany and Cattaraugus territories.

Pagels, the current Seneca Nation treasurer, received a total 1,279 votes, to lead a Seneca Party sweep of all races on the ballot.

Pagel’s challenger, Sally J. Snow of Senecas For Change 2020, received 559 votes.

“I am incredibly grateful for the support I have received and for the opportunity to lead the Seneca Nation as our next president,” said Pagels, who lives on the Cattaraugus Territory. “Throughout this past year, we have seen how our community can respond to unimaginable challenges. We’ve proven that we are stronger together.”

Pagels, serving as treasurer after the Nation’s 2018 election, will be officially sworn in as president next week.

“From defending our sovereignty, expanding our economy and making our communities safer, healthier and stronger, the challenges ahead of us can only be overcome with leadership, unity and strength,” he said. “The Seneca people have given me, together with the Seneca Nation Council, the responsibility to meet those needs.”

The Seneca Party scored large margins of victory in all races. In addition to Pagels, current Seneca President Rickey Armstrong Sr., of the Allegany Territory, was elected treasurer, and Marta Kettle, of the Cattaraugus Territory, was elected clerk. Armstrong received 1,309 votes in a three-way race, and Kettle received 1,431 votes.

“Serving the Seneca people is a tremendous calling, and I look forward to continuing to lead and advocate on our Nation’s behalf as our Treasurer,” said Armstrong, who, as president, has overseen the Nation’s widespread response to the coronavirus pandemic over the last eight months of his term.

“Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past two years, and I look forward to working with President-elect Pagels and the Council to build on that success over the next two years,” he said.

Voters also chose eight members to serve on the 16-member Seneca Nation Council for a four-year term. Elected from the Allegany Territory were Josh Becker (1,273 votes), Arlene Bova (1,291 votes), Al George (1,286 votes) and Tim Waterman (1,248 votes).

The four members of the Nation Council elected from the Cattaraugus Territory are Eliot “Chub” Jimerson (1,233 votes), Lisa Maybee (1,296 votes), Presley Redeye (1,281 votes) and Keith White (1,197 votes).

“The Seneca Party is built on a foundation of unity, prosperity and sovereignty for all Senecas,” said Scott Snyder, the nine-time Seneca Party chairman. “This year’s results underline, yet again, the Seneca people’s belief in our continued ability to lead the Seneca Nation, to bring meaningful progress to our community, and to improve the lives of our people. That is our track record as a party and that remains our guiding principle.”