Navajo VP Faces Challenge in Bid for Presidency

Sep 13, 2018

The Navajo Nation's vice president is facing a challenge in his bid for the tribe's top elected post.

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez (right) with current President Russell Begaye.

One of Jonathan Nez's primary election opponents alleges Nez failed to disclose a misdemeanor conviction for drunken driving in 2002.

Nez's campaign acknowledges the conviction but says Vincent Yazzie is wrong in arguing it should disqualify Nez from the race.

Tribal law prohibits Navajos from seeking the presidency if they've been convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanors within the past five years.

The tribe's Office of Hearings and Appeals has set a Sept. 26 hearing in the case.

Nez's campaign manager, Clara Pratte, says the campaign will file a motion to dismiss Yazzie's complaint.

Another grievance challenging presidential contender Joe Shirley Jr. on term limits was dismissed Wednesday.