Todd Gates upset long-time political leader Barry Snyder Sr. by winning the Seneca Party nomination for president of the Seneca Nation of Indian.
Gates is the current treasurer of the nation. Snyder has served five previous terms as president of the nation.
The selection of Gates as the presidential candidate occurred during a caucus vote on the Cattaraugus and Allegany Territories Friday night.
“I want to thank the members of the Seneca Party for their support and their collective belief in me and my vision for the future of the Seneca Nation,” Gates said in a prepared statement. “Having previously served as a member of the Nation Council and as Treasurer for the past two years, I know what needs to be done to help our Nation advance.”
In addition to Gates, current Seneca Nation President Maurice A. John, Sr., whose term is coming to a close, will be the Seneca Party candidate for treasurer. John was unopposed for the nomination, as was Lenith Waterman, who will be the Seneca Party candidate for Seneca Nation Clerk.
Seneca Party members also selected candidates for the eight seats on the Seneca Nation Council that will be up for election in November. Arlene Bova, Al E. George, Tim Waterman and Mike Williams will be the party’s candidates for the four Council seats from the Allegany Territory. The four candidates from the Cattaraugus Territory will be Linda “Soupy” Doxtator, Jeff Gill, Presley Redeye, and Keith White.
A total of 1,152 Seneca Party members voted in the caucus, which featured a total of 61 candidates for various offices.
“The Seneca Party members have chosen an excellent slate of candidates,” said Scott Snyder, Seneca Party chairman. “Our candidates are the clear choice for leadership within the Seneca Nation. We look forward to working with our candidates and with the Seneca people to elect the full ticket of Seneca Party candidates in November.”
In the Seneca Nation’s last election in 2014 election, the full slate of Seneca Party candidates were elected to office, scoring nearly 70 percent of the vote in the race for President.