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Navajo Nation voters elect Jonathan Nez tribal president

Voters on the Navajo Nation overwhelmingly supported Vice President Jonathan Nez and his running mate, Myron Lizer, for the tribal presidency and vice presidency.

Nez and Lizer had a two to one margin over former president Joe Shirley Jr. and his running mate, Buu Nygren, according to unofficial results reported by chapter precincts to the Navajo Election Administration.

“It feels great. I see that the Navajo people have spoken – overwhelmingly – for change, and that’s what this campaign is all about,” Nez said. “I think after tonight, I ask for all of us to come back together as one Navajo family and start tackling the issues that we heard throughout the Navajo Nation.”

The mood at the party for the Shirley-Nygren campaign at Nakai Hall began as celebratory, then turned somber as the unofficial results were reported.

“What can I say – the numbers are what they are,” Shirley said. “I’m sorry the numbers aren’t the other way. But I feel like we didn’t lose. We gave it a good shot. It is what it is.”

Earlier Tuesday, voter turnout at the Shiprock Chapter remained steady as chapter members, like others in the 110 chapters on the Navajo Nation, cast ballots to decide the presidential race and other offices.

While chapter members voted in the chapter house, others visited campaign stands for Nez and Shirley, and for Eugenia Charles-Newton and Vern R. Lee, both of whom are candidates to represent Shiprock on the Navajo Nation Council.

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