Results from Navajo Nation primary election certified

Nearly 50,000 people cast a ballot in presidential race

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Navajo Nation voters line up to gather information from Navajo Nation presidential candidates Aug. 28 before taking part in the primary election at the Shiprock Chapter House.
  • Seven grievances regarding the primary election were filed by noon on Sept. 10, according to the Office of Hearings and Appeals.
  • There were 88,007 registered voters as of Aug. 28, according to the Navajo Election Administration.

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Board of Election Supervisors certified the results from the tribe's Aug. 28 primary election during a meeting here on Thursday.

Board members voted 5-0 in favor of canvassing the election results for the tribal presidency and the Navajo Nation Council, and offices for agencies and chapters.

The top two finishers in each race, if there are no results contested by any candidates and appealed to the Office of Hearings and Appeals, will proceed to the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

Seven grievances regarding the primary election were filed by noon on Sept. 10, according to the Office of Hearings and Appeals.

Staff members declined to provide further information about the cases, citing the need to notify all named parties before releasing details.

The official results show 49,897 ballots were cast in the presidential race, which had 18 candidates vying for the position.

There were 88,007 registered voters as of Aug. 28, according to the Navajo Election Administration.

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez waves to his supporters Aug. 28 at the Window Rock Civic Center in Window Rock, Ariz., after finishing first in the primary election for the tribal presidency.

Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez received 14,397 votes, followed by former tribal president Joe Shirley Jr., who received 6,871 votes.

The results show Tom Chee received 6,426 votes, Dineh Benally received 5,262 votes, Russell Begaye received 3,939 votes, Tom Tso received 3,442 votes, Hope MacDonald Lonetree received 2,387 votes, Alton Joe Shepherd received 1,784 votes, Emily Ellison received 1,259 votes and Calvin Lee Jr. received 1,217 votes.

Completing the field were Rex Lee Jim with 964 votes, Shawn Redd with 502 votes, Norman Patrick Brown with 405 votes, Nick X. Taylor with 371 votes, Trudie Jackson with 230 votes, Benny Bahe with 160 votes, Vincent H. Yazzie with 155 votes and Kevin Cody with 126 votes.

There were four seats open on the 24-member tribal council to represent chapters in the Northern Agency.

Six candidates were seeking to represent the Shiprock Chapter. The official results show Eugenia Charles-Newton received 530 votes, Vern R. Lee received 447 votes, Nevina D. Kinlahcheeny received 420 votes, Dan Smith received 312 votes, Cheryl George received 170 votes and Marian John received 157 votes.

In the race to represent the Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tsé Daa K'aan and Upper Fruitland chapters, Rickie Nez received 1,440 votes and Matthew Tso received 911 votes.

There were three candidates vying to represent the Beclabito, Cove, Gadii'ahi-Tokoi, Red Valley, Toadlena-Two Grey Hills, Tooh Haltsooí and Tsé Alnaozt'i'í chapters. Incumbent Amber Kanazbah Crotty received 1,636 votes, followed by Irvin Tyler with 551 votes and Lee J. Zhonnie with 503 votes.

Four candidates, including incumbent Davis Filfred, competed to represent the Aneth, Mexican Water, Red Mesa, Teec Nos Pos and Tólikan chapters. Charlaine Tso received 675 votes, followed by Filfred with 545 votes, then Herman Farley with 502 votes and David L. John with 379 votes.

There was a special election to seat a president for the Tsé Daa K'aan Chapter. The results show James Pioche received 261 votes, and Paul J. George received 257 votes.

In the uncontested race for a Northern Agency seat on the election board, incumbent Watona Kellywood received 7,442 votes.

Freda K. Nells received 5,982 votes and Jeanne Haskie received 2,730 votes for an at-large seat for the Navajo Nation Board of Education.

Board members also heard a report about a referendum for the general election that proposes to increase the salaries for the president and vice president. Staff members from the election administration told the board the resolution approved by the council on Sept. 7 had been sent to President Russell Begaye for his review and action.

The proposal remains under Begaye's review, and he has until 5 p.m. Monday to approve or veto the measure, according to the election administration.

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