The top two political candidates for Navajo Nation president are former tribal President Joe Shirley Jr. and former Arizona Rep. Chris Deschene.
That’s according to the UNOFFICIAL RESULTS FROM THE NAVAJO ELECTION ADMINISTRATION for the tribal Primary Election, which showed Shirley with 10,910 votes and Deschene with 9,734 votes.
“Navajo News Without Borders,” my weekly blogtalkradio show, was onsite at tribal primary election night in the Sports Center in Window Rock, Ariz., where the Navajo Nation Election Administration was announcing minute-by-minute election results as they came in from the Navajo Reservation’s 110 chapters or precincts.
If you go to the ARCHIVED NNWB show, you can hear both Shirley and Deschene making their victory speeches to the listeners of NNWB. You will also hear very loud cheers and chanting as Dechene enters the Sports Center about 9:30 p.m. to claim second place in the tribal primaries. Shortly after Deschene’s victory entrance, Shirley and his supporters made their victory appearance, which was equally loud.
I did see incumbent President Ben Shelly give Deschene a congratulatory handshake. But there were no handshakes between Shelly and Shirley, who saw each other but kept their distance. Shelly was Shirley’s vice president four years ago and before the end of the Shirley-Shelly administration, Shirley and Shelly were bitter political opponents.
Shelly received 2,446 votes, which put him at seventh place.
And unsuccessful presidential candidate Moroni Benally provided a scathing political analysis of Shirley and Deschene and a no nonsense look into what Benally called the “sleazy” world of Navajo politics. Benally finished in twelfth place with 965 votes.
There were 17 political candidates vying for the top two positions in the tribal primary election’s presidential race. The tribal general election is Nov. 4, 2014.
UNOFFICIAL NAVAJO NATION PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS FROM EACH OF THE 110 CHAPTERS/PRECINCTS FOR THE ELECTIVE POSITIONS OF PRESIDENT, NAVAJO COUNCIL, BOARD OF ELECTION SUPERVISORS, NAVAJO NATION EDUCATION BOARD, KAYENTA TOWNSHIP COMMISSION