N.M. voters key to victory for Shirley, Nez

By Bill Donovan
Special to the Times


Navajo Times | File

Joe Shirley Jr.

For the past 60 years, almost all the candidates who have become chairman or president of the Navajo Nation did it by getting the support of New Mexico voters.

Navajo Times | File

Jonathan Nez

This has especially been true in races where both candidates for the top spot came from Arizona and were unfamiliar with the land and economic problems faced by Navajos living in the Northern and Eastern agencies.

In next month’s general election, the key to who becomes the next president – Jonathan Nez or Joe Shirley Jr. –will again rest, to a great extent, on voters from New Mexico.

In the primary election for Eastern Agency, Nez came out on top, getting 2,898 votes to 1,671 for Shirley. The same was true in the Northern Agency, where Nez received 1,618 votes to Shirley’s 919. Nez came in first in that race while Shirley came in fifth.