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Porter elected president of Seneca Indian Nation

SALAMANCA — Syracuse University law school professor Robert Odawi Porter has been elected president of the Seneca Nation of Indians in western New York.

Seneca Nation officials say Porter defeated Maurice A. John Sr. in Tuesday’s election, getting 1,671 votes to John’s 500 in balloting held on the tribe’s reservations south of Buffalo.

During the campaign, the 47-year-old Porter said his law background would help the tribe in its ongoing legal battles with New York state over tax issues.

Porter has taught at law schools in Kansas and Iowa. He’s on leave from his job as a professor at Syracuse’s law school.

Seneca presidents serve two-year terms. Porter, who succeeds current President Barry E. Snyder Sr., will be sworn in Tuesday.