Indianz.Com > News > Jonathan Nez launches bid for re-election as president of Navajo Nation

LIVE FROM SHONTO, ARIZONA – SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM JONATHAN NEZ 04.23.22 Yá’át’ééh to all of our Navajo people! We appreciate your support as we move forward together! Ahe’hee’

Posted by Nez 4 Prez 2.0 on Saturday, April 23, 2022
Nez 4 Prez 2.0: Jonathan Nez Re-Election Rally – April 23, 2022
Jonathan Nez launches bid for re-election as president of Navajo Nation
Monday, April 25, 2022

Jonathan Nez, the incumbent president of the Navajo Nation, kicked off his re-election campaign over the weekend.

The “Nez 4 Prez 2.0” campaign launched with a rally in Nez’s hometown of Shonto, on the Arizona portion of the reservation. Nez got his start in tribal politics as president of the Shonto Chapter.

“This is where it all started here in Shonto, Arizona,” Nez said on Saturday. “As a young person, I spent years listening to and gradually understanding the issues from the local level on up. Navajo was my first language and my elders used our sacred language to instill our Navajo way of life teachings in me at a young age.”

“The teaching that we know as T’áá Hwó Ají Téego, or self-reliance and self-determination, along with faith and prayer have guided me through life and allowed me to serve and help our people for many years now,” Nez continued. “It has always been about the people, being among people, and giving back to all communities across the Navajo Nation.”

Since taking office in January 2019, Nez has presided over massive change on the largest reservation in the United States. The tribe was hit early, and disproportionately, by the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to maintain protocols aimed at slowing the spread of a disease that has taken the lives of nearly 1,800 Navajo citizens.

“We were hit hard by COVID-19 during the first-term of the presidency, but we didn’t shy away from the challenges,” Nez said at the announcement. “We took proactive measures even before the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on the Navajo Nation, we stood shoulder to shoulder with our frontline warriors, and we, the Navajo Nation, are now recognized across the country as an example of how to effectively mitigate a pandemic.”

“During our presidency, we visited all 110 chapters on the Navajo Nation, and have worked together to save many lives,” Nez continued. “The Navajo people are strong and resilient just as our ancestors were, and now have one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world. We must continue on the path of recovery and healing together.”

Joining Nez at the rally were his wife, First Lady Phefelia Nez, and the couple’s sons, Christopher and Alexander. Absent from the kick-off was Myron Lizer, who was Nez’s running mate in the 2018 election.

Lizer, a Republican, stirred speculation about his own future in tribal politics when he announced his bid for Arizona’s 2nd U.S. Congressional District in early March. He is not currently listed as a candidate for the upcoming Republican primary, according to Arizona Secretary of State.

Lizer needed to secure a sufficient number of signatures in order to appear on the ballot. He made a “late effort” to gather those signatures ahead of the April 4 deadline but has not posted publicly about his campaign on his @NN_MyronLizer account on Twitter.

But Lizer did change the biography on the account — it no longer states that he is “Navajo Nation Vice President” as it did in early March, when he renamed his handle. He also removed a reference to being a “US Congressional District 2 candidate (Arizona).”

The Arizona Secretary of State has not yet returned a request for comment about the status of the Republican candidate list for the 2nd U.S. Congressional District, whose newly redrawn boundaries include the Arizona portion of the Navajo Nation.

Candidates for president of the Navajo Nation were able to formally file on April 21. The last day to file is May 4, according to the Navajo Election Administration.

Buu Van Nygren, who was a vice presidential running mate during the 2018 election cycle, was among the first to kick off his campaign. Other candidates include former tribal attorney general Ethel Billie Branch, Earl Sombrero, Frank Dayish and Dineh Benally.

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