Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye has endorsed Hillary Clinton in the U.S. presidential race. The tribe has historically supported Democratic candidates. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.
Begaye is urging all Navajos to vote for the former secretary of state. He says during her campaign, Clinton has committed to address several issues important to tribes like healthcare and education, public safety, and combating drug and alcohol abuse.
Navajo Vice President Jonathan Nez, who also endorsed Clinton, believes she’d continue tribal relationships fostered under the Obama administration.
“Eight years of that nation-to-nation dialogue with the U.S. and tribal communities have taken Indian Nations into the 21st century, I believe. She will do great things for Indian Country and for the Navajo people,” Nez says.
Both Nez and Begaye say Republican nominee Donald Trump would support policies that would threaten tribal sovereignty. They’re also concerned the GOP nominee wouldn’t honor treaties between tribes and the federal government.
The Navajo Nation will hold separate chapter elections on Nov. 8 to coincide with the national presidential vote. According to Navajo election officials, there are 130,321 registered voters on the reservation.