Field of 18 vying for 2 spots on general election ballot


FARMINGTON — Voters on the Navajo Nation will cast ballots in the primary election on Tuesday, reducing the field of 18 candidates vying for the tribal presidency.

The top two finishers, barring any challenges, will face off in the Nov. 6 general election.

Tuesday's election also will narrow the list of candidates for seats on the Navajo Nation Council.

Precincts open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. for each of the 110 chapters.

Edbert Little, executive director for the Navajo Election Administration, said results from the chapter precincts will be tallied starting at 7 p.m. at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona.

Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye is seeking a second term.

He faces challenges from Benny Bahe, Tom Chee, Jonathan Nez, Calvin Lee Jr., Joe Shirley Jr., Vincent H. Yazzie, Rex Lee Jim, Norman Patrick Brown, Trudie Jackson, Shawn Redd, Alton Joe Shepherd, Emily Ellison, Tom Tso, Kevin Cody, Hope MacDonald Lonetree, Nick X. Taylor and Dineh Benally.

There are four seats on the tribal council that represent chapters in the Northern Agency.

With incumbent Delegate Tom Chee running for the presidency, voters in Shiprock Chapter will determine which of the six candidates will continue to the general election. The candidates are Vern R. Lee, Nevina D. Kinlahcheeny, Dan Smith, Marian John, Eugenia Charles-Newton and Cheryl George.

Incumbents Amber Kanazbah Crotty and Davis Filfred are facing challenges to continue representing their chapters on the council.

Crotty will face challengers Lee J. Zhonnie and Irvin Tyler for the Beclabito, Cove, Gadii'ahi-Tokoi, Red Valley, Toadlena-Two Grey Hills, Tooh Haltsooí and Tsé Alnaozt'i'í chapters.

More: Candidate forum set for Navajo Nation Council seat

Charlaine Tso, Herman Farley and David L. John are bidding against Filfred to represent the Aneth, Mexican Water, Red Mesa, Teec Nos Pos and Tólikan chapters.

There are five races that have only one or two candidates.

Voters in the Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tsé Daa K'aan and Upper Fruitland chapters will elect a new council delegate this year since Speaker LoRenzo Bates is a candidate for the San Juan County Commission District 2 seat.

Rickie Nez and Matthew Tso are vying to represent the six chapters.

Watona Kellywood is the sole candidate to represent the Northern Agency on the Navajo Board of Election Supervisors.

Jeanne Haskie and Freda K. Nells are candidates for an at-large seat for the Navajo Nation Board of Education.

More: Forum offers voters opportunity to meet presidential candidates

Paul J. George and James Pioche are candidates for Tsé Daa K'aan Chapter president. The seat became vacant after Charlie T. Jones Jr. resigned this year, according to the election administration office in Shiprock.

Hoskie Bryant and Micheal Thomas Clani are candidates for commissioner seats for the Naschitti Community Governance in the Naschtti Chapter.

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

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