Navajo presidential candidates running mates

Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018 4:42 PM

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – A former Navajo Nation president hoping to recapture the office had to pick a new running mate.

Joe Shirley Jr. announced the selection of high school principal Peter Deswood III at a news conference Tuesday in Window Rock.

But Shirley’s campaign manager, Patrick Sandoval, says Deswood isn’t a registered voter and isn’t eligible to join the ticket. Sandoval says the campaign must pick another vice president.

The deadline is close of business Tuesday.

Deswood says believed he was registered but was among more than 55,000 Navajos recently purged from the voter rolls. Tribal law says that’s done when voters do not cast ballots in two consecutive major elections.

Shirley will face current tribal Vice President Jonathan Nez in the general election.

Nez chose Myron Lizer, who owns hardware stores on the reservation.

Presidential candidates don’t run on party lines but typically pick a running mate from another state to broaden their voter base.

Shirley is from Arizona.

Nez bucked the tradition. He and Lizer both are from Arizona.

The candidates will face off in the Nov. 6 general election.

The Navajo Nation is the country’s largest at 27,000 square miles, also taking in part of southern Utah.