I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
NM Sen. Linda Lovejoy in second bid for Navajo Nation President
New Mexico State Sen. Linda Lovejoy, D-Crownpoint, announced Tuesday that she is making her second bid for president of the Navajo Nation. Lovejoy was the first woman to ever make it through the Navajo primary election in 2006, facing off against Navajo Pres. Joe Shirley Jr. in the general election.
When Lovejoy made it to the general election in 2006, it was considered a milestone. Another woman who had run for president in 2002, Genevieve Jackson, said it was a “historical day” that proved women are equal to men. Jackson noted at the time the important position women hold within the Navajo clan system:
”As we make these great strides toward the future, it is important that the Dine’ [Navajo] matriarchal clan system is recognized,” said Jackson.
”The woman is held in high regard and considered the owner of her property, the custodian of her children, and maintains balance and harmony within her family and nation,” said Jackson, currently running for council delegate in her home chapter of Fort Defiance.
In her announcement Tuesday, Lovejoy said she’d focus on jobs, basic necessities for Navajos and noted that competing interests in Navajo government are “unprecedented”:
“Our people are still battling oppressive conditions of not having the very basic necessities (such) as running water, electricity, Internet or improved roads,” she said. “These are the most unprecedented times of competing interest here on Navajo land. We as Dine people have strayed from those deep-seated core values that once held us in unison.”
Lovejoy will face a raft of contenders, including another woman, Sharon Clahchischilliage, who recently served as executive director of the tribal field office in Washington, D.C. Others running include Vice President Ben Shelly, tribal Department of Justice attorney Harrison Tsosie, Tribal Council Delegate Rex Lee Jim, former state Rep. Daniel Peaches, and Shiprock Chapter Vice President Donald Benally.
In a surprise move, current president Joe Shirley has also announced he will seek a third term, despite the two-term limit currently imposed on his office. His candidacy will most likely be challenged. His spokesperson, George Hardeen, said Shirley wants to continue as president in order to complete government reform efforts, most notably the reduction in size of the tribal council and the implementation of a presidential line-item veto provision given by the voters.