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Julian Bear Runner and Richard Zephier will face off in the Oglala Sioux Tribe's presidential race on Nov. 6, according to unofficial primary results posted Tuesday evening to the tribe's Facebook page. 

Bear Runner received 772 votes during the primary election and Zephier received 572 in a field of seven candidates. As the two candidates with the highest number of votes, they will face off in the general election. 

"I am grateful, encouraged, humbled and challenged beyond words," Bear Runner wrote on his campaign's Facebook page after the primary results were posted. 

"Our Oglala people need effective strategy," he said. "We have been working extremely hard knowing we are in desperate times."

According to Bear Runner's website, he is a veteran of the 101st Airborne Infantry, was involved in protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and has worked in law enforcement and emergency medical services.

Zephier also responded to the results on his campaign's Facebook page.

"We are looking forward to bringing proven results and decades of experience to a post that has not had this before," he said. "There are more than $20 million in unspent financial resources that could be helping right now. We already have the groundwork in place to reallocate those dollars to our schools, small businesses and the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline." 

Zephier has a Ph.D. in educational administration and has worked as a teacher, principal and superintendent, according to his website. He said he also worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and the Oglala Sioux Tribe. 

In the six-candidate vice president primary race, incumbent Darla Black received 679 votes and Thomas Poor Bear had 521 votes. They will also compete in the Nov. 6 general election. 

The Oglala Sioux Tribe also posted the unofficial results for the tribal council races, which are divided into nine districts. 

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— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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