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Buu Nygren uses familiar platform to win Navajo presidency

Buu Nygren
William C. Weaver IV
AP Photo
Buu Nygren announces his win for the Navajo Nation president as he reads tabulated votes from chapter houses across the reservation at his campaign's watch party at the Navajo Nation fairgrounds in Window Rock, Ariz., on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.

Buu Nygren entered the Navajo presidential race with a platform echoed by generations of candidates.

His expectation that Navajos hold him accountable for ensuring they have running water and electricity and fixing roads resonated with voters.

Nygren ousted incumbent President Jonathan Nez in the tribe's election Tuesday. Nez had guided the tribe during the pandemic and signed off on a plan for much-needed infrastructure using federal virus relief funding.

Unofficial results show Nygren beat Nez by nearly 3,500 votes in the nonpartisan race.

The position wields influence nationally because of the tribe's hefty population and size of its reservation in the U.S. Southwest.