Navajo Nation Holds Primary for President, Council

Aug 26, 2014

Along with the State of Arizona, the Navajo Nation is holding primary elections today. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, a crowded field of candidates are competing for president and tribal council along with other positions.

Former Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr.
Credit AP


Out of 17 candidates running for president of the Navajo Nation, two will proceed to November’s general election. Likely frontrunners include current president Ben Shelly, former president Joe Shirley Jr. and former Arizona state representative Chris Deschene. In addition, two tribal lawmakers, the tribal elections director and other private citizens are vying for the highest elected position.

Also, according to the Navajo Election Administration, all two dozen seats on the council are open for the primary. Issues like water rights, road improvements and job creation have been central during the primary race.

While the council makes the laws, the president carries them out and represents the Navajo Nation on the international stage.