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From the publisher: First debate between Nez-Lizer, Shirley-Nygren is Oct. 16

Tommy Arviso, Jr., portrait

Tommy Arviso, Jr.

The Navajo Nation General Election is 40 days away and that basically leaves about one full month for candidates running for tribal office to campaign and reach out to voters everywhere.

October will be filled with political rallies, meetings and lots of special events designed to give all the candidates as much public exposure as possible. That’s called being on the campaign trail.

Some candidates hit the trail hard and accumulate thousands of miles on their vehicles and credit cards. Others travel lightly and prefer to do their talking through newspapers, radio and social media.

As we rumble along the campaign trail toward “Election Day” on Nov. 6, one major stop along the Navajo tribal presidential candidates campaign tour will be in Crownpoint.

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Navajo Times, Native Broadcast Enterprise and Navajo Technical University will proudly host the 2018 Navajo Nation Presidential Candidates Debate.

The debate will be held on NTU’s main campus in Crownpoint in the Student Wellness Center starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m.

This event will be a debate and not a forum. A debate allows the opposing candidates the opportunity to deliver detailed information and comments on a specific subject, topic or question. Because there are only two candidates, they have more time to speak freely, to respond to each other’s comments, and to exchange lively dialogue between each other.

So it’s a debate and the primary focus will be on the two opposing Navajo candidates for president – Jonathan Nez and Joe Shirley Jr.

The evening will start with a short debate between the candidates for vice president. From 5 p.m. to 5:50 p.m., Myron Lizer of the Nez team and Buu Van Nygren of the Shirley team will exchange their views on a variety of topics.

Then, starting at 6 p.m., the two candidates for president will square off in a live debate that will be broadcast by KTNN AM-660 and KWRK FM-106.1.
In addition, the NTU Information Technology Department will live-stream the debate over the internet and NTU’s own FM radio station – KCZY 107.3 FM – will also carry the debate live.

This particular debate is being held at NTU courtesy of president Elmer Guy and his hard working staff. In fact, before the primary election was held, Guy was already communicating with Troy Little, general manger of KTNN-KWRK, and myself about hosting a debate once the top two candidates had been decided.

Together, we are presenting this debate as a community service to all Navajo people and voters. Just like the five forums we held before the primary election, we feel that it is vitally important that the Navajo voters get to know their candidates so that they can make an educated decision at the election polls on Nov. 6.

This debate at NTU is the first of two that we plan to host. We are still in the planning stage for the second debate and I will let you know as soon as possible where and when we will stage the next debate.

I spoke this past Monday and Tuesday with Clara Pratte and Patrick Sandoval and both said their respective candidates are excited about the debate.

Pratte is campaign manager for the Nez-Lizer team and Sandoval is the campaign spokesman for the Shirley-Nygren team.

The debate will be presented in both Navajo and English and it will be up to the candidates on how they choose to communicate with each other and the audience.

Pratte and Sandoval both said that their guys are ready, eager and looking forward to the debate.

So, Navajo voters, “Let’s get ready to rumble…!”


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About The Author

Tommy Arviso Jr.

Tom Arviso, Jr., is the CEO and Publisher of Navajo Times Publishing Co., Inc.

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