Navajo Nation Primary results set up Presidential, Council races for November
by David Boyle
The Navajo Nation held Primary Elections on August 2. Diné voters will return to the polls to vote to elect a president and representatives to the Navajo Nation Council in November.
Unofficial results from the Navajo Elections Administration became available on August 3.
The August 2 primary narrowed a list of 15 Presidential candidates to two.
Incumbent President Jonathan Nez won 17,073 votes. Nez will face off against Buu Nygren who won 12,878 votes. Justin Jones finished third with 8,769 votes.
Both presidential candidates are familiar to Utah Diné voters.
Nez is from Shonto, AZ near Navajo Mountain, UT (Naa’tsis’aán).
Nygren is from Red Mesa, AZ. The Red Mesa Chapter is split by the Utah-Arizona border.
Both candidates won the plurality of voters in all seven Utah chapters.
In the primary election, Nez won the plurality of voters in Oljato and Naa’tsis’aán.
Nygren won the plurality of voters in Dennehotso, Mexican Water, Red Mesa, TeecNosPos, and Aneth.
On August 8, both candidates announced their vice-president running mates.
Nez’s running mate will be Chad Abeyta of Alamo, NM. Myron Lizer served as the Navajo Nation Vice President under Nez since 2019.
Nygren’s running mate will be Richelle Montoya Chee of Torreon, NM.
Utah Diné are represented by three different seats on the Navajo Nation Council.
One seat represents Tólikan, as well as Utah chapters Mexican Water, Red Mesa, TeecNosPos, and Aneth.
The August 2 primary narrowed six council candidates to two.
Davis Filfred won 646 votes and will face Curtis Yanito, who won 602 votes. Incumbent Charlaine Tso earned 537 votes.
Filfred won the plurality of voters in Red Mesa and Aneth. Yanito won the plurality of voters in Mexican Water. Tso won the plurality in Tólikan, while candidate Robert Redhouse won the plurality of votes in TeecNosPos.
Utah Diné also voted in a primary for the seat to represent Kayenta, Chilchinbeto, and Utah chapter Dennehotso.
The primary narrowed six candidates to two. Shaandiin Parrish won 628 votes and will face incumbent Nathaniel Brown, who won 467 votes.
Parrish won the plurality of votes in Dennehotso and Kayenta. Candidate Eugene Badonie won the plurality of votes in Chilchinbeto.
Utah Diné also voted in a primary for the seat to represent Tsah Bii Kin, Shonto, and Utah chapters of Naa’tsis’aán and Oljato.
Henry “Hank” Stevens won 782 votes while Herman M. Daniels Jr. won 750 votes.
As they are the only two candidates, Stevens and Daniels will face off again in November.
Both candidates narrowly won their home chapters, with Stevens winning Naa’tsis’aán and Shonto. Daniels won Oljato and Tsah Bii Kin.
Voter registration for the 2022 General Election re-opens on August 12 and closes on September 30.
Voters can check their voting status by calling into election offices:
Northern Agency Election Office: 866-659-5842 or 505-368-1333
Western Navajo Agency Election Office: 888-508-4970 or 928-283-3220
Navajo Election Administration: 800-775-8683 or 928-871-6367
You can start ordering your absentee ballots for the 2022 General Election by mail or download the application at https://navajoelections.navajo-nsn.gov/
In order to qualify to vote in the Navajo Nation elections, an individual must be over the age of 18 years, and have a Navajo census number issued by the Navajo Office of Vital Statistics.