Native American candidates hope for pipeline protest boost

FORT PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Henry Red Cloud hopes the vigor focused on defeating the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline will help win his longshot bid for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.

Red Cloud is applying a new approach among tribal members working to stop oil development: becoming a regulator, rather than asking for their help. He is one of at least two Native Americans nationwide running for such a post.

Red Cloud, a Democrat, is campaigning on a green energy platform against Republican Chris Nelson, who has served on the commission since 2011.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe member Marlo Hunte-Beaubrun says the protest south of her home in Bismarck, North Dakota, has propelled her Public Service Commission campaign “into insanity.”

She’s challenging Republican Julie Fedorchak, who was appointed in 2012 and elected in 2014.

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