fogn.png
Monday December 9th, 2019 8:47PM

Navajos advance 2 seasoned politicians vie for presidency

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Voters on the country's largest American Indian reservation have advanced two seasoned politicians vying for the presidency to the general election.

Current tribal Vice President Jonathan Nez maintained a hefty lead throughout Tuesday's primary among a record field of 18 presidential hopefuls. Nez garnered more than 14,100 votes, according to unofficial results. Former President Joe Shirley Jr. came in second with about half that number.

The two will pick their own running mates and face off in the November general election. Tribal lawmaker Tom Chee came within a couple hundred votes of Shirley at times but wasn't able to overcome his lead.

Current President Russell Begaye came in fifth in the primary behind engineer Dineh Benally, a former vice presidential candidate. More than half of the 93,000 registered voters cast a ballot in the presidential race.

Tuesday's results ensure somewhat of a repeat from the last election when Shirley and Benally were up against Begaye and Nez.

Nez, a former tribal lawmaker and county supervisor who was raised in Shonto, has said he will promote Navajo-owned business, transparency in government, self-sufficiency and elevate the voice of the youth.

He said he wants to ensure that Navajos struggling with drug addiction, alcoholism and diabetes get the help they need.

"We need to focus ourselves on behavioral and mental health services," he recently said in an online address.

Nez and Begaye operated almost as a single unit during their administration, appearing together at national events, on camera and jointly delivering a quarterly address to tribal lawmakers. But Nez distanced himself as he jumped on the campaign trail.

Lorraine Begay from Sawmill near the Arizona-New Mexico line said Nez appealed to her because he is educated, married and she believes he will stand for the youth, the elderly and those suffering from social ills. She also likes that he hasn't made any promises.

"Can't have promises because there's policies," she said. "Things like that get in the way."

Shirley served two terms as president, leaving the office in 2011. He lost by 10,000 votes in the last presidential election that was delayed over a language fluency issue. The long-time Apache County supervisor from Chinle championed the only voter initiative approved on the reservation that reduced the number of tribal lawmakers from 88 to 24 and secured a presidential line-item veto.

He has touted experience and said he'd rely on teamwork to combat poverty, hunger and other issues on the Navajo Nation.

"One man cannot take it on alone and hope to be successful," Shirley said.

About half the workforce is unemployed, and many Navajos live without running water or electricity. The tribe also faces a substantial loss in revenue if a coal-fired power plant near the Arizona-Utah border closes next year as planned.

Margie Begay from Wheatfields said she voted for Shirley because of his plans to bridge the youth and the elderly so they can learn from each other.

"We have more young generations that are coming in," she said. "We talk about the language, we talk about Native Americans across Indian Country, that they're losing their language and their culture."

Chee, a tribal lawmaker and the third-place finisher, intentionally spoke primarily Navajo during his campaign. He said he wanted to show that by returning to their roots, Navajos could embrace and retain their unique identity.

Of the race, he said he did "quite well.

"First-time candidate at his level against two well-seasoned gentlemen," he said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Navajos advance 2 seasoned politicians vie for presidency
Voters on the country's largest American Indian reservation advance two seasoned politicians to compete for the presidency in the general election
2:18AM ( 22 minutes ago )
Arizona features 2 open House seats being eyed by Democrats
Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick emerged from a competitive Democratic primary to win the nomination in an open Arizona House seat.
2:02AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Fla. governor's race pits liberal Dem vs. Trump Republican
In Florida governor's race, liberal Democrat faces Trump's GOP candidate
1:43AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
New Mexico judges weigh dangerousness of compound defendants
New Mexico judges are scheduled to make crucial decisions about child abuse charges and bail provisions for five defendants arrested at a compound in northern New Mexico where children lived in filth and the body of a 3-year-old boy was retrieved.
12:49AM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump accuses Google of rigged search results about him
President Donald Trump is accusing Google and other U.S. tech companies of rigging search results about him "so that almost all stories & news is BAD."
12:36AM ( 2 hours ago )
Sentencing underway for ex-Texas cop convicted of murder
Texas jurors who convicted a former police officer of murder in the death of a black, unarmed teenager will hear more testimony when the sentencing phase of the trial resumes
12:35AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Ducey, Garcia to face off for Arizona governor in November
The incumbent Republican governor and a Democratic Latino education professor won their parties' respective nods in Tuesday's primary election for Arizona's top office
12:56AM ( 1 hour ago )
Tulsa businessman wins GOP nod in race for Oklahoma governor
A Tulsa mortgage company owner has won the GOP nomination in the race to become Oklahoma's next governor, setting up a November contest in which education will undoubtedly be a top issue
12:54AM ( 1 hour ago )
Arizona Senate primary run in Trump's shadow
Arizona's Republicans on Tuesday will decide a three-way battle over which candidate to nominate to replace the state's junior U.S. senator, who is retiring because he has no political future after criticizing President Donald Trump
10:24PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Elections
What to watch during elections in Florida, Arizona, Oklahoma
What to watch: Voters in Florida, Arizona, Oklahoma to settle on candidates
1:30PM ( 13 hours ago )
Judges: Congress map still unlawful with partisan bias
Federal judges have affirmed their earlier decision striking North Carolina's congressional districts as unconstitutional because Republicans drew them with excessive partisanship
1:59AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Governor to wait to announce McCain replacement
The governor of Arizona does not plan to announce whom he will appoint to replace Republican John McCain in the U.S. Senate until after McCain's burial
12:05PM ( 2 days ago )
General Election News
Tearful Graham mourns McCain in Senate eulogy
South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham mourned John McCain on the Senate floor, saying his best friend should be remembered for a life of forgiveness, fighting and love
4:51PM ( 9 hours ago )
McCain's death shadows Republican primary in Arizona
Death of Sen. John McCain is shadowing Tuesday's primary contests in Arizona
3:37PM ( 11 hours ago )
Florida primary includes Trump defender, female trailblazer
A conservative Republican congressman supported by President Donald Trump and the daughter of a former governor who is seeking to become the first female chief executive are the featured candidates in Florida's gubernatorial primaries.
3:12PM ( 11 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
Arizona features 2 open House seats being eyed by Democrats
Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick emerged from a competitive Democratic primary to win the nomination in an open Arizona House seat.
2:02AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Fla. governor's race pits liberal Dem vs. Trump Republican
In Florida governor's race, liberal Democrat faces Trump's GOP candidate
1:43AM ( 56 minutes ago )
McSally, Sinema to face for Arizona Senate seat
Rep. Martha McSally has won the Republican primary for Arizona's open U.S. Senate seat and will face Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in November
1:29AM ( 1 hour ago )
Final farewells to Sen. John McCain begin at Arizona Capitol
Family, friends and constituents will gather at the Arizona State Capitol to pay their respects to Sen. John McCain
1:25AM ( 1 hour ago )
Primary takeaways: Establishment fails and diversity grows
Primary night takeaways: Establishment fails, diversity grows and Sheriff Joe says goodbye
1:22AM ( 1 hour ago )