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Navajo voters are narrowing the list of candidates for tribal president Tuesday in the primary election. Fifteen people are vying for the top leadership post on the vast reservation that extends into New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. Current President Jonathan Nez says he wants another term to ensure projects started under his administration to extend power and water lines, and broadband are completed. The candidates include six women, each hoping to be the first woman elected to lead the tribe. The top two vote-getters in the primary will move on to the November general election. The tribe generally sees around a 50% turnout for the primaries.
Voters on the vast Navajo Nation have advanced tribal presidential candidates Jonathan Nez and Buu Nygren to the general election in November. Voters narrowed the list of 15 candidates in the primary election Tuesday. The Navajo Nation is the largest reservation in the U.S., and the tribe is second in population with around 406,000 enrolled members. Nez led the tribe for the past four years, largely focused on the coronavirus pandemic. Nygren is a former vice presidential candidate who left a job in construction management to seek the presidency. The results from the tribe's election are unofficial until certified.
Voters from the Navajo Nation will see familiar faces in the tribe’s general election: their current president and the 2018 vice presidential candidate. President Jonathan Nez and former vice presidential candidate Buu Nygren garnered the most votes in Tuesday’s primary among a field of 15. Whoever wins will oversee the largest Native American reservation in the U.S., and the second-highest tribal population. They two differ on their approaches to the coronavirus pandemic. The Navajo Nation once had one of the highest infection rates in the United States. Nez’s administration enacted some of the strictest measures in the country and some are still in place. Nygren contends that Navajo businesses are hurting because of those restrictions.
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