8 Council delegates did not file for re-election

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times

WINDOW ROCK, Aug. 22, 2014

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There were some surprises in the announcement of candidates running for the Navajo Nation Council in the upcoming primary.

Eight members of the current Council did not file papers.

They are Russell Begay, Katherine Benally, Joshua Butler, Charles Damon, Kenneth Maryboy, Johnny Naize, Roscoe Smith and Duane Tsinigine.

Maryboy, of course, is running for tribal president. Naize was the speaker of the Council who was put on suspension after being charged with misusing tribal discretionary funds. And Tsinigine may not have been able to run anyway because of a DWI conviction in Gallup several months ago.

Two members of the current Council, Alton Joe Shepherd from Ganado and Jonathan Nez of Shonto have it easy. They are facing no opposition, which means they will have no opposition in the general election either unless someone files as a write in candidate.

Four other men who filed won't have to worry about campaigning in the primary.

Lorenzo Bates, the current speaker of the Council, and former Council delegate George Arthur were the only candidates who filed in the San Juan/Newcomb district. And Jonathan Hale and Curran Hannon were the only ones who filed in the Oak Springs/St. Michael chapters.

The top two vote getters in each Council race will face each other in the general election on Aug. 26 so those with only two will automatically make it to the general election.

The other 20 Council districts have from three to nine candidates running in the primary.

Katherine Benally is the only female Council delegate but there may be more next year as there are women candidates in 14 of the races.

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