Law | Politics

Petition seeks removal of Navajo Nation presidential hopeful

Russell Begaye. Photo from Facebook

Another candidate for president of the Navajo Nation is being challenged.

Russell Begaye came in third in the tribe's primary in August. But he jumped back into the race last week after Chris Deschene, who came in second, was removed from the ballot because he is not fluent in the Navajo language.

"I am committed to change, committed to putting the Navajo people first, and that's why I'm running for president of the Navajo Nation," Begaye said in a press release.

A former presidential candidate, however, has asked the Navajo Office of Hearings and Appeals to remove Begaye. Myron McLaughlin, who came in eighth in the primary, is accusing Begaye of attacking the tribe's sovereignty as part of a lawsuit that was filed in federal court.

Begaye was a shareholder representative for the Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Company and said he wasn't involved in decision-making regarding the lawsuit. The case was eventually dismissed due to lack of jurisdiction.

McLaughlin wants Begaye replaced by Donald Benally, who came in fourth in the primary. Joe Shirley Jr., a former president who came in first, remains on the ballot.

The date for the presidential election hasn't been announced. Tribal members are voting today on other positions.

Get the Story:
Grievance filed against Navajo Nation presidential candidate Russell Begaye (The Farmington Daily Times 11/4)

Navajo Nation Supreme Court Decision:
Tsosie v. Deschene (October 23, 2014)

Navajo Nation Supreme Court Order:
Tsosie v. Deschene (October 22, 2014)

Earlier Navajo Nation Supreme Court Order:
Tsosie v. Deschene (September 26, 2014)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories:
Andrew Curley: Election flap exposes troubles in Navajo Nation (11/3)
Navajo Nation postpones presidential vote as legal drama ends (11/3)
Chris Deschene still urging Navajo Nation voters to choose him (10/30)
Navajo Nation president vetoes bill to address language issue (10/29)
Navajo Nation election officials refuse to delay upcoming vote (10/28)
Navajo Nation candidate Chris Deschene won't halt campaign (10/24)
Navajo Nation's top court orders new ballots without candidate (10/23)
Christopher Chavis: Navajo court got it wrong in fluency case (10/22)
Navajo Nation presidential hopeful to be removed from ballot (10/22)
Navajo Nation court still mulling decision in presidential case (10/21)
Top Navajo Nation court holds hearing in presidential dispute (10/20)
Navajo presidential candidate Chris Deschene stays on ballot (10/14)
Navajo presidential candidate to dispute removal from ballot (10/10)
Navajo presidential candidate loses ruling over language ability (10/9)
Navajo Nation won't delay election despite presidential dispute (10/2)
Navajo presidential candidate in doubt over fluency in language (9/29)
Navajo Nation might postpone election due to legal challenge (9/25)
Navajo Nation court to hear language issue affecting candidate (9/24)
Appeal filed over Navajo language ability of presidential hopeful (9/17)
Navajo Nation presidential candidate a target over fluency issue (09/11)
Navajo voters oust incumbent president Ben Shelly in primary (08/27)