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PEMBROKE, NC (AP) — A member of the North Carolina Commission on Indian Affairs has been elected chairman of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

Unofficial returns show Paul Brooks of Pembroke won the post in Tuesday’s election with almost 1,800 of the approximately 4,000 votes cast for the four candidates.

Brooks told The Fayetteville Observer that he thinks voters supported him because of his experience. He’s been a member of the North Carolina commission since 1991 and has served as its chairman. Brooks also was a member of the Lumbee Regional Development Association for 19 years.

The tribal government administers federal and state programs to 55,000 Lumbees, most based in southeastern North Carolina. The tribal government also represents their interests to state and federal governments.

His term runs until January 2013.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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