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Hopis Select New Chairman In Thursday Election

Courtesy photo/Tanner Stechnij/Cronkite News

Hopis are voting Thursday to elect a new chairman as the tribe heads into an uncertain economic future.

They'll choose between tribal lawmaker David Norton Talayumptewa and political newcomer Tim Nuvangyaoma.

Talayumptewa says his experience in the federal government and in education give him the ability to better connect with people.

Nuvangyaoma has positioned himself as the candidate closest to the community.

The tribe is facing a significant loss in revenue with the expected closure of coal mine in 2019 that feeds a power plant near Page. The royalties make up about 85 percent of the Hopi budget.

Turnout generally is low. About 1,775 Hopis voted in the 2013 general election.

Tribal lawmaker Lamar Keevama and Clark Tenakhongva are seeking the vice chairman's post.

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