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Navajo Election May Be Postponed

Chris Deschene
Courtesy of the Deschene 2014 campaign
Chris Deschene says he's a product of cultural destruction. That's why his Navajo speaking skills are limited. But he continues to practice.

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Navajo Election May Be Postponed

Navajo Election May Be Postponed

Courtesy of the Deschene 2014 campaign

Chris Deschene says he's a product of cultural destruction. That's why his Navajo speaking skills are limited. But he continues to practice.

The Navajo election may be postponed because of a complaint filed against one of the candidates challenging his fluency

Last April, Chris Deschene took an oath saying he spoke Navajo fluently. During the campaign Deschene admitted he’s still working on his language skills. After Deschene rose to the top in the primary, Dale Tsosie, a losing opponent, filed a grievance. The tribe says the complaint was too late.

Tsosie appealed to the Navajo Supreme Court saying the 10-day cutoff should not apply to candidates who lie.

The Navajo Nation Supreme Court kicked the appeal back to the Office of Hearings and Appeals on Friday.

The tribe must set another hearing date within five days.

In the meantime, absentee ballots that should have printed this week are on hold. If Deschene is disqualified, Russell Begaye, the candidate who came in third place in the primary, will be on the ticket.

Laurel Morales was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2011 to 2020.