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Navajo presidential hopefuls represent change or continuity

Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice-President/President Jonathan Nez

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Navajos next week will choose whether to elect a president who has never held political office or one whose career in tribal government spans more than two decades. Incumbent President Jonathan Nez and challenger Buu Nygren emerged as the top two vote-getters among 15 candidates in the tribe’s primary election in August. More than 126,000 Navajos are registered to vote in the Nov. 8 general election that also will determine the makeup of the 24-member Navajo Nation Council. Nez and Nygren both want to ensure that Navajos have basic necessities like running water and electricity. Nygren says Nez has moved too slowly to spur economic development. Nez says Nygren doesn't understand how tribal government works and said progress takes time.