Dzil Yizhiin leans toward Nez

Navajo Times | Cindy Yurth
Voters file past the campaign booths on their way in to vote at Forest Lake Chapter Tuesday.

FOREST LAKE and BLACK MESA, Ariz.

Chinle voters were solidly behind their native son, Joe Shirley Jr., Tuesday morning, but it seemed that the farther you got from Central Agency’s largest community, the more support for Shirley waned.

In the isolated hamlets of Forest Lake and Black Mesa, where many of the election’s biggest issues converged — Navajo Generating Station and Peabody, Navajo Partitioned Land grazing permits, relocation, lack of infrastructure — the mostly middle-aged and elderly crowd interviewed between bites of mutton stew was leaning decidedly toward Jonathan Nez.

“We had the experience of Mr. Shirley already,” said Irene Begaye, 54, wryly. “He would promise us to be a guest speaker and not show up.”

Begaye said she also didn’t like the disregard Shirley showed toward his vice president, Frank Dayish, late in his first administration.

“I don’t want that to happen again,” she said.


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Categories: Politics

About Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at cyurth@navajotimes.com.