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Navajo Nation Council selects pro tem speaker

Seth Damon will serve in role until permanent speaker is chosen

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Delegate Seth Damon was selected pro tem speaker for the 24th Navajo Nation Council during a special session on Tuesday in Window Rock, Ariz. Damon will serve in that capacity until a speaker is selected during the winter session later this month.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — After delegates took the oath of office on Tuesday, the first order of business for the 24th Navajo Nation Council was selecting a pro tem speaker.

Delegate Seth Damon was chosen to serve in that capacity until the council selects a speaker during the winter session, which starts on Jan. 28.

He was among five delegates who were nominated and received the most votes during a special session at the council chamber late Tuesday afternoon.

Damon, who represents the Bááháálí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh and Tsé Lichíí chapters, is starting his second term on the council.

Delegate Rick Nez delivers his comments during a special session for the 24th Navajo Nation Council on Tuesday at the council chamber in Window Rock, Ariz. Nez represents the Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tsé Daa K'aan and Upper Fruitland chapters.

He served as chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee on the previous council and is from Bread Springs, a community south of Gallup.

Damon thanked his colleagues for their support in a press release from the Speaker's Office. He also pledged to work with Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer during his temporary role as speaker, according to the release.

"It is important that we work together to move forward to continue serving the Navajo people during this transition, and I also want to thank our Navajo citizens for supporting our leadership at today's inauguration," Damon said in the release.

Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton, who represents Shiprock Chapter, distributes beverages to the audience during a special session for the 24th Navajo Nation Council on Tuesday in Window Rock, Ariz.

Also nominated for pro tem speaker were Delegates Amber Kanazbah Crotty, Otto Tso and Eugenia Charles-Newton. Delegate Edmund Yazzie declined his nomination.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.