Nez Elected to Lead Navajo Nation, Warns of Tough Times

Nov 7, 2018

Jonathan Nez has been elected president of the Navajo Nation and is warning of tough times ahead for the tribe on the largest Native American reservation in the U.S.

Jonathan Nez, right, stands with his wife, Phefelia Herbert-Nez, at the election night party for his presidential campaign on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Window Rock, Ariz. Nez, the tribe's vice president, had a significant lead over his opponent in the race for the tribe's top elected post.
Credit Noel Smith/The Daily Times via AP

Unofficial election results for the reservation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah show Nez overwhelmingly beat former two-term President Joe Shirley Jr.

Nez is vice president of the tribe and said Wednesday he would start planning his administration.

Among the plans are restructuring the tribal government to try to avoid layoffs after a coal-fired power plant and a mine that supplies it close at the end of 2019. Both are on the reservation.

Election results will be finalized next week.

Ballot shortages were reported at some polling stations but Shirley wasn't contesting the outcome of the race.