Press Release

Release Date: May 16, 2019
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Chickasaw Nation Lt. Governor Jefferson Keel has announced that he plans to step down, effective at the end of his current term, September 30.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said Lt. Governor Keel has served the Chickasaw Nation and the Chickasaw people well.

“We appreciate him for his leadership at home and representing us on a national level,” Governor Anoatubby said. “We look forward to his continued service to our tribe.”

Keel, who is serving his fifth term as Lt. Governor, wrote a personal message to the Chickasaw people, stating that he began considering the decision when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2017.

“We have been diligently seeking the Lord’s direction since then,” Keel said. “I completed my treatments, and by the Grace of God there is no sign of cancer. The Lord healed me and I know that He has a plan for me.”

Keel, who also serves as president of the National Congress of American Indians, said that he and Gov. Anoatubby spoke together about the decision and agreed that it was time “to begin a new chapter” in his life.

Gov. Anoatubby said that he has had discussions with Keel about continuing to serve the Chickasaw Nation in another role.