Obama earns second term

By Noel Lyn Smith
Navajo Times

WINDOW ROCK, November 8, 2012

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(Times photo – Paul Natonabah)

TOP: Election clerk for McKinley County Barbara A. Badonie organizes Tuesday's general election ballots at the Tohachi Middle School in Tohatchi, N.M. The ballots were taken to the McKinley County Courthouse in Gallup.
SECOND FROM TOP: Up-to-date numbers on how many Electoral College votes for President Barack Obama, left, and Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney are displayed on a TV screen Tuesday night at the Window Rock Sports Center in Window Rock on election night.
THIRD FROM TOP: Kory Curley, 17, from Tohatchi, prepares to take down his Barack Obama sign down after polls closed Tuesday night in front of the Tohatchi Middle School. Curley said he showed his support for President Obama for more than 12 hours. Though he was frustrated because he was not able to vote due to his age, Curley said he proudly supported Obama..

V oters on the Navajo Nation went to the polls Tuesday to determine who would represent them at the federal and state levels.

President Barack Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney to win a second term in the White House.

Obama garnered 303 electoral votes followed by Romney at 206. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the president.

In an acceptance speech at campaign headquarters in Chicago, Obama told his supporters and the nation that "the best is yet to come."

His speech touched on working with leaders of both parties to solve the challenges of deficit reduction, reforming the tax code, immigration and energy independence.

"I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states," Obama said.

The National Congress of the American Indians welcomed Obama's victory in a press release Wednesday.

"Native American policy advancements in his first term set the groundwork for historic opportunities to move Indian Country forward during his second term," NCAI president Jefferson Keel said. "We look forward to engaging with the President to achieve even greater things in the next four years."

In the Arizona Congressional District 1 race, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick had a slight lead over Republican Jonathan Paton, according to the unofficial results posted Wednesday on the state secretary's website.

Kirkpatick lead the pack with 100,443 (48 percent) followed by Paton at 93,939 (45 percent) and Libertarian Kim Allen with 12,155 (5 percent).

The race was still too close to call at press time with 337 out of 339 precincts reporting.

If Kirkpatrick wins, she would be returning to Congress after being defeated in the 2010 race by Rep. Paul Gosar, who moved from Flagstaff to Prescott and ran in Congressional District 4.

As for the U.S. Senate race in Arizona, Republican Jeff Flake edged Democrat Richard Carmona.

Flake defeated Carmona 809,283 (50 percent) to 725,831 (45 percent) while Libertarian Marc Victor received 69,837 (4 percent) votes, according to 1,662 out of 1,667 precincts reporting.

New Mexico was also deciding the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff Bingaman, who is retiring after 30 years in office.

Democrat Martin Heinrich defeated former Republican congresswoman Heather Wilson 388,618 (50 percent) to 346,566 (45 percent). Independent American Party candidate Jon Ross Barrie received 27,674 (3 percent) votes and Independent write-in Robert L. Anderson received 948 (.12 percent).

During Heinrich's acceptance speech at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque, he mentioned a 2011 campaign stop in Shiprock during the Northern Navajo Nation Fair.

When Heinrich mentioned Shiprock, cheers immediately came from the audience.

"Shiprock is in the house," he said then added that he wore cowboy boots while walking in the parade with Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., who was by his side Tuesday night.

"After six miles, I realized why he was wearing tennis shoes," Heinrich said.

In Wilson's concession speech at the Marriott Uptown in Albuquerque, she thanked her family, supporters and campaign workers before commenting on Heinrich's victory.

"Throughout this campaign, Martin Heinrich promised that he would always put New Mexico first, he has earned the opportunity to keep that promise," Wilson said.

In the U.S. Representative District 3 race, incumbent Ben R. Lujan defeated Republican Jefferson L. Byrd 164,989 (62 percent) to 96,955 (37 percent).

As for the state House of Representatives District 4 race, Republican Sharon Clahchischilliage defeated incumbent Ray Begaye.

Begaye, a democrat who represented the district since 1999, received 3,649 (38 percent) to 5,828 (61 percent) for Clahchischillage.

Clahchischillage is the former director of the Navajo Nation Washington Office and former chief of staff for Navajo Nation Council Speaker Johnny Naize.

State Sen. John Pinto, D-District 3, and State Rep. Sandra Jeff, D-District 5, both ran unopposed and will continue to represent their districts.

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