Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Navajo president to run for 3rd term


By Daniel Kraker

Flagstaff, AZ – Navajo election officials accepted Shirley's application for a third term. But his candidacy will more than likely be challenged. At a press conference in Window Rock, Shirley said he wants to finish what his administration began.

"We started something that needs to get done, which is government reform. I believe we've only touched on the tip of the iceberg. Much more that needs to get done, our administration will do that."

Shirley pushed for a referendum vote in December that slashed the size of the Navajo Nation council, from 88 delegates to 24. That election has been challenged before the Navajo Supreme Court. Shirley says he also wants to overhaul the executive branch and look at reforming the judiciary, but didn't offer any specifics.

Joshua Lavar Butler, spokesman for the Navajo Nation Council, says President Shirley should step down.

"He claims he needs to finish items he began under his administration, but I think that 8 years and 2 terms is enough to get that done."

Butler is also managing the campaign for Lynda Lovejoy, one of nine other candidates to run for president. Four years ago she became the first woman to ever advance out of the primary election, before eventually losing to Shirley by six thousand votes.
If Shirley's candidacy is upheld, there could be a rematch in November.