Barry E. Snyder Sr. is looking for a fifth term as Seneca Nation president.
Snyder has served five decades in Seneca Nation political leadership. He is a candidate of the Original Seneca Party founded by Snyder, Seneca businessman Ross John Sr. and others in 1984. He served his last presidential term from 2008 through 2010.
"Unfortunately, our current administrative leadership has not lived up to one of the most important values Senecas hold in highest regard - government by the people," Snyder said. "Actions over the past two years by our current president have eroded the confidence of the Seneca people and those whom we should consider friends and allies. We have too much at stake to lose what we have gained."
Barry E. Snyder Sr.
A caucus will be held on Sept. 3 to elect a full slate of candidates. Twenty-six candidates with the Original Seneca Party are currently running for eight open Tribal Councillor seats, four from the Cattaraugus and four from the Allegany territories. This is in addition to the president, treasurer, clerk and other elected offices. The nation's general election will be held on Nov. 6.
In March 2012, the Seneca people elected new officers for the Original Seneca Party Cattaraugus Territory including Scott Snyder, chairman; Ross John Sr., vice chairman; Trudy Jackson, treasurer; and Susanne Sanford, secretary. Rosemary Patterson was recently elected chair for the Allegany Territory.
Snyder has previously served as a tribal councilor, treasurer, chairperson of the Tribal Council, chairperson for the Economic Development Committee and nation president. Snyder worked to create high-stakes bingo on nation lands in the 1970s and Class III Gaming in early 2000, pursuing programs promoting economic self-sufficiency and generating capital investment for family-owned homes throughout the territories. Today the Seneca Gaming Corporation is nearing $1 billion in combined gaming revenue for the nation. Snyder served as the Seneca Gaming Corp. chairman from 2004 through 2009.
Through the Salamanca Settlement Act in 1990, Snyder helped create investment programs that guided the settlement money received by the nation. In 2003, as Tribal Council chairman, Snyder sponsored legislation that called for the increase of the nation's scholarship money, increased education opportunities and expanded services to the Seneca children. He also introduced legislation to provide increased services to nation elders, allocating more money to housing programs.
In 2005, Snyder announced the formation of the Seneca Diabetes Foundation, which is designed to address head-on the need to tackle the debilitating impacts of this deadly disease that many nation members. The foundation, an independent non-profit 501(c)(3), was established to enhance the existing prevention and wellness programs the Seneca Nation Health, Education and Recreation departments are managing and provide greater opportunities for early detection and treatment. To date, the foundation has contributed more than $2.6 million to help the Seneca people.