New member sworn into Navajo Nation Council
Jimmy Yellowhair will represent 5 chapters in Arizona
FARMINGTON — A new member was sworn into the Navajo Nation Council today to represent five chapters in Arizona.
Chief Justice JoAnn B. Jayne administered the oath of office to Jimmy Yellowhair at the council chamber in Window Rock, Arizona, according to a press release from the Office of the Speaker.
Yellowhair will represent the Forest Lake, Hardrock, Kíts'íílí, Piñon and Whippoorwill chapters, and is originally from the Wolf Creek Canyon area in Black Mesa, Arizona, according to the release.
The council seat was declared vacant after former Delegate Dwight Witherspoon resigned on Nov. 5 to serve as chief of staff in the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President.
Speaker LoRenzo Bates appointed Yellowhair on Tuesday to serve the remaining weeks of Witherspoon's term.
The Navajo Election Code allows the speaker to select and appoint a delegate from the affected chapters when a vacancy occurs during the second half of a term.
His appointment was based on a majority of chapter resolutions that recommended his selection, the release states.
Bates said in the release that he is confident Yellowhair will serve in the best interest of the chapters.
"On behalf of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council, I welcome Mr. Yellowhair and look forward to working with him," the speaker said.
Yellowhair retired as the fiscal director for the tribe's judicial branch in September 2013, according to the branch's fourth quarter report of 2013.
Yellowhair's appointment to the seat will give him an early start on representing the chapters. He won election to the seat in the Nov. 6 general election, according to the unofficial results from the Navajo Election Administration, and that term will begin when the new council is seated in January.
The inauguration day for the tribal president, vice president, council and other offices is Jan. 15, 2019.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at email@example.com.