Shiprock delegate to run for prez

By Arlyssa Becenti and Cindy Yurth
Navajo Times


Navajo Times | File
Tom Chee

Tom Chee, who represents Shiprock on the Navajo Nation Council, has thrown his hat in the ring for Navajo Nation president, his son announced Sunday on Facebook.

“It is with great honor and humility that my father, Tom Chee, has heard your voice and has accepted the challenge of becoming your next Navajo Nation president,” Ryan Chip Chee posted Sunday. “My parents, Tom Chee and Dr. Janet Slowman-Chee, have a grand vision of the preservation of our land, language, families (children) and improving the economic outlook of our Nation,” he said.

Exactly what the vision is is still in the works, according to another campaign spokesman, who confirmed that Chee had announced his intention to run to family members on Saturday. Tom Chee himself did not respond to an email Wednesday, but the spokesman said Chee will officially announce his candidacy at his home chapter of Leupp on April 7, and details of his platform will be forthcoming then. On the Council, Chee, a former educator, has been a strong proponent of Navajo language preservation, and often refers to his traditional upbringing when he herded sheep.

He opposed the “junk food tax,” a levy on soda pop and other unhealthy foods that goes back to the chapters for health initiatives.

While filing is not officially open until May 17, Chee joins four men who have unofficially announced their intention to run for president: Dineh Benally, Rex Lee Jim, Cal Nez and Nicholas Taylor (see today’s letters to the editor). Current President Russell Begaye has said he is seriously considering trying for a second term.

Categories: Politics