Randy King, chairman of the Tribal Trustees of the Shinnecock...

Randy King, chairman of the Tribal Trustees of the Shinnecock Nation stands in front of the Shinnecock flag at the start of the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior in Washington, D.C. (Dec. 16, 2010) Credit: Charlie Archambault

Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation re-elected Randy King chairman of the tribal trustees Tuesday, giving him his sixth term in office.

There was also a tie for one of its trustee seats, a first in the history of the tribal trustee system instituted in 1792.

Former trustee Fred Bess tied for third place with long-time trustee Lance Gumbs, according to results made available late Tuesday.

A runoff between Gumbs and Bess will take place within two weeks, the tribe said.

The Shinnecock Nation also elected Gerrod Smith for his first term in office.

Under the tribal election laws, the candidate receiving the most votes is chairman.

The tribe, which won federal recognition in October, has occupied its Southampton reservation and other Long Island lands for centuries, long before European settlers arrived.

The continuity of the tribal election system and its long-documented history were among the reasons the Shinnecocks were granted recogntion, a process that took 30 years.

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